Mr. Colin E.

United States of America

Hey everybody, I'm now a Senior Peer Reviewer for Write The Former Write The World young writer, now mentoring other WTW young writers through peer reviewers! Wish me luck and hoping you make wonderful pieces!

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I had some really great ideas last night, I hope you love my latest edits!

Greek Myths Retold: The Origin of Hephaestus

March 24, 2018


Hephaestus was born the son of Zeus and Hera. But, the reason he was thrown away by his own mother is an entirely different story. On the night Hephaestus was born, all the Olympian Gods had gathered to see the new baby god. Even Hades, the god of the underworld, had come up from his dark realm to see his new nephew. Hephaestus of course, had been born deformed and ugly, but the Olympians didn't care. His father, Zeus, wasn't repulsed by the child his wife had given birth too, he accepted him right away.

" Hello there little fellow," Zeus said as he gazed upon his son " you're a little funny looking. But, don't worry about that because if everyone looked the same, the world would be a boring place. You're my son and that's all that matters."

Hephaestus's brother Ares got a good look at his new baby brother and said " You know, he's actually kind of a cute, in a weird sort of way." 

Ares then proceeded to tickle his little brother's chin with his finger, which made the baby giggle.

" Look at his eyes, they're so beautiful! They shine like amber." Demeter gushed

" I love his laugh, it's the most wonderful sound I've ever heard!" Hestia said as she took a moment to hold him.

Poseidon looked at the baby and just laughed happily.

" You know, I live with all kinds of strange sea creatures and I don't care how any of them look, they're all unique. This little child is going to fit in just fine." Poseidon said

Hades himself looked upon the child and a rare sight appeared on his face, a smile. Hades had always thought himself different from the other gods, but now he knew he was no longer alone.

" Zeus, I like this child." Hades said cheerfully

The Olympian gods had to agree that Hephaestus would fit right in because Mount Olympus was a place where weird and different was the norm, all the gods had their special traits that made them stand out.

" So, Zeus, what are you going and Hera going to call him?" asked Hades, who had taken quite a shine on the new baby.

" Hmm, how about Hephaestus?" Zeus suggested.

" That's a perfect name." Hades said

" I agree, what do you think Hera?" asked Zeus.

Hera just sat there in the bed, with a less than thrilled look on her face.

" Hera, all you alright dear?" Zeus asked

" Yes, you seem rather displeased." said Demeter.

Hera snapped back to reality and regained her regal composure.

" No, no, it's alright. I'm fine." She said as she took her son back into her arms

" Okay, if you say so." Zeus said, not entirely sure if she was telling the truth.

Despite what she'd said, Hera wasn't fine. She was not at all pleased with the baby she had given birth to and the reason for that was not only because of him being deformed, but because he wasn't perfect. As queen of the gods, Hera was supposed to be a perfect being that mortals worshipped every day. They expected her to be perfect and Hera had to live up to those expectations. She strived for perfection, making sure everything she did was perfect. Hera had given birth to a child that was deformed and ugly, a child that wasn't perfect. She strived for perfection and yet, this child wasn't perfect. If mortals found out that she had given to this imperfect child, they would she wasn't perfect and view her as flawed. Hera couldn't be viewed like that, so she had to do something about her problem. One day, Hera was carrying Hephaestus in her arms to the edge of Mount Olympus. She was about to do the most horrific thing any parent could do to their child. She looked down at Hephaestus and gave him a sad look.

" I'm sorry, my child. You're not perfect." She said with a sigh.

Then, she grabbed him by the ankle and with one mighty throw of her arm, hurled Hephaestus off Mount Olympus. Zeus and the other gods had walked in on the scene, they were utterly horrified. 

" Hera, what did you just do?!" Zeus demanded in horror.

Hera turned away and started walking to her bed chambers.

" It doesn't matter anymore," She answered with a mixture of sadness and annoyance" he's gone now."

" Mother, that was your son! That was my baby brother! How could you do something like that?!" Ares screeched.

" Let it go, Ares. He's gone and he's not coming back." Hera said starting to get angry.

" Like Tartarus he is!! Poseidon, round up the other gods, we've got to find him!" Zeus shouted.

" You'll do no such thing!" Hera thundered.

" Yes, we are Hera!" Zeus said furiously " As king of the Olympian gods, that baby is my son and like it or not, we're..." 

" AM I NOT THE QUEEN?!?!?!?!?!" Hera demanded.

" Well, yes, you are, but..." Zeus started to say.

" Then, that means I can do as I please! That child is not my son anymore and you will not go looking for him!" Hera said firmly.

The other gods could not believe what Hera had done and while they wanted to argue with her about it, they couldn't. The word of the queen of the Olympian gods was law, so they had no choice, but to obey it. Even though Zeus was the king, he had to obey the wishes of his queen.

" Very well, if that is what you wish." Zeus said sadly " But, you'll regret this one day, Hera."

" Unlikely." Hera said as she left.

The Olympian gods fell into sadness, little Hephaestus, the baby they'd all come to love, was now gone forever and there was nothing they could do about it. And what happened to Hephaestus? He had fallen far from Mount Olympus and crashed into the sea. The impact crippled his legs forever, making it impossible for him to walk again. It looked like the end for Hephaestus that day, but then a miracle occurred. A kindly sea goddess named Thetis came upon baby Hephaestus floating on the ocean wave. Feeling awful for the little baby being all alone, she scooped him up in her arms. 

She held him close to her heart and said " It's alright little one, I'm here. Don't cry."

Thetis soothed Hephaestus to sleep with a lullaby, which calmed him down. Knowing he wouldn't survive on his own, she took Hephaestus back to her home, a glorious underwater cave. Thetis didn't care what Hephaestus looked like, she loved him for who he was on the inside. She knew that he was a good child who just needed some love. So, she decided she'd become his adopted mother. Growing up, Hephaestus lived a happy life with Thetis. She cared for him with all her heart and gave him all the love she had. However, Hephaestus couldn't walk properly, so he had to be carried around by his mother. This was a problem for a while, until that is Hephaestus took up a new hobby. Hephaestus became interested in forging and crafting, often spending time making gifts for Thetis and her sea nymph friends. Soon, Hephaestus crafted himself a pair of metal leg braces, which he wore to help him walk. Years passed and Hephaestus became quite possibly the greatest craftsmen in the world. He could make anything with his own two hands with perfection. Hephaestus made fine jewelry for Thetis and her friends, which eventually led to his ascension on Mount Olympus. One night, Thetis attended a party on Mount Olympus, wearing a fine necklace made from silver and pearls that Hephaestus had made for her. During the party, Hera noticed the necklace Thetis had on and couldn't help but be interested.

" Thetis, where did you get that necklace? It's beautiful." Hera said examining the beautiful object.

" Oh this?" Thetis said " This necklace was made by a magnificent craftsmen and that craftsmen was my adopted son, Hephaestus."

Hera's eyes widened in shock at the mention of her child's name. He had made that beautiful necklace?! Hera wasn't the only one to have heard her son's name because Zeus was within an earshot when Thetis said " Hephaestus"

" Wait a minute, did you say Hephaestus?" Zeus asked highly intrigued.

" Yes, I did. He's my adopted son, I found him in the ocean when he was just a baby. He was so alone and scared. I took him in, raising him as my own. I think someone abandoned him because he was ugly. I didn't care what he looked like, I knew he was beautiful on the inside." Thetis explained.

Zeus was marveling at what Thetis had said. He was astounded that against all odds, his son had survived his terrible fall. His son was okay. It was a miracle and Zeus couldn't have been happier.

" Thetis, I have to thank you for finding Hephaestus and caring for him." Zeus said commending her.

" And why is that, my lord?" Thetis inquired.

" Because he's my son." Zeus replied.

Thetis couldn't believe what she was hearing. Hephaestus, her precious adopted son, was really the child of Zeus and Hera.

" He's your son?!" Thetis nearly shouted.

" Indeed he is." Zeus confirmed " He was born here on Olympus, but we then lost him due to the actions of a certain someone."

Thetis noticed that Zeus's gaze was directed at Hera and it soon became clear what Hera had done. She couldn't help, but feel disgusted and horrified that Hera would throw her own child away like trash.

" Hera, how could you?" Thetis said in disgust.

" It matters not because Hephaestus will never return to Olympus." Hera said nonchalantly 

" Oh, yes he is." Zeus said glaring at his wife " Thetis, I want you to find Hephaestus and tell him the whole story. Tell him that he's now welcome to return to Olympus."

" Zeus, you can't..." Hera protested.

" Silence, Hera." Zeus commanded.

" Very well, my lord." Thetis said " I will do as you command. Hephaestus will return home first thing tomorrow."

" Thank you, Thetis." Zeus said " For all you've done."

" You're welcome, my lord." Thetis said kindly.

After the party, Thetis returned home and told Hephaestus everything. He didn't believe it at first, but he soon did when she told him that Zeus said he was welcome to return home to Mount Olympus. He thought he should thank the gods for their kindness by making them glorious thrones. However, he sought to punish his mother, Hera, for what she did to him. So, he made a throne that would trap Hera in unbreakable chains that she could never escape from. The next morning, Hephaestus returned to Olympus, where he was welcomed by the Olympian Gods. His father Zeus was the first to greet him and hugged his son happily.

" Welcome home, my son. Welcome back to Mount Olympus." Zeus said as he embraced Hephaestus.

Hephaestus couldn't help, but be touched by his father's kindness. So, he melted into the hug and said " Thank you, father."

Soon, all the Olympian Gods came to greet Hephaestus. They were all happy to see him, happy that he was alright. Ares greeted Hephaestus with a bone crushing bear hug, which Hephaestus returned with a bone crushing bear hug of his own. The two brothers hit it off right away and Hephaestus even said he'd make a special sword for Ares. Poseidon jovially greeted Hephaestus and Hephaestus found how much he liked Poseidon. He never judged on appearance or saw him as ugly, he loved him for who he was. Poseidon even told that if he lived in the sea, he'd fit right in because the sea was home to all kinds of different, unique looking creatures. Demeter and Hestia greeted Hephaestus with hugs and kisses on his cheeks, which made him blush. Hephaestus was fond of his aunt Hestia, who he inherited his amber eyes from, and found her completely adorable. As for Demeter, Hephaestus liked the way she was fussing over him, asking if he'd been eating enough or if he was okay, something Thetis did with him. Hades, who had been waiting for Hephaestus to come home, told him right away that he wanted to thank him for making him not feel so alone when it came to being different, which caused Hephaestus to hug him. As for Hera, she awkwardly tried to greet Hephaestus, but it was too difficult for her. Hephaestus told her he had forgiven her for what she did to him, but Hera wasn't sure he was telling the truth.

" I want to thank you all for welcoming me back," Hephaestus said " words can't describe the amount of gratitude I feel towards  you all. And to show that gratitude, I've made you all thrones, which were personally made be me."

Hephaestus presented the gods with thrones he'd forged for them, something they absolutely loved. Zeus's throne was made from gold with bits of platinum. It had designs of eagles, thunder clouds, and lightning bolts all over it. Poseidon's throne was made from silver, the finest in all creation to be precise. It was encrusted with pearls, aquamarine, sapphires, and Lapis Lazuli. The throne had designs of Hippocampi, sea shells, waves, and all kinds of sea creatures Hephaestus had encountered on his undersea trips that his adopted mother Thetis had took him on. Demeter's throne was made of oak wood, crafted to perfection. It was woven with vines, leaves, and had a soft goat skin cushion. Hephaestus told her that after he cut down the tree to make it, he planted a new tree in it's place, which caused Demeter to hug him. Hestia's throne was made of bronze encrusted with topaz, rubies, and orange jasper. It had incredible designs of fire on it and it glowed whenever Hestia sat on it, something Hestia thought was amazing. Hades's throne was made from Ebony. It had designs of souls, skeletons, and the dead on it, included with bits of black diamond. Ares's throne was made from shining adamantine with bits of red crystal. It had magnificent designs of battles, weapons, and soldiers all over it, much to the pleasure of Ares. When Ares asked about what the red crystal was for, Hephaestus said it represented blood and that caused Ares to scream in happiness. Hephaestus even made a throne for Hera, much to her surprise. It was made from pure gold, much like Zeus's throne, but it was so much different. It had a peacock design on the back and had bits of Bismuth ( a rare crystal I might add) encrusted into it. Hera marveled at it's beauty and even thanked Hephaestus for his fine work. However, when Hera sat down on it, she was instantly bound by indestructible chains. Hera tried to get it off it, but the chains were too strong. The other gods were shocked at what had happened, but soon realized that Hephaestus had planned to get revenge on Hera all along. Hephaestus sauntered over to Hera and glared at her.

" You gave birth to me and you threw me away like I was filth." Hephaestus said sternly " You left me to suffer in the mortal world with my legs broken beyond repair, you left me behind without even caring, you left me to rot. Luckily, I was saved by Thetis, who was more of a mother to me than you ever were. But,now I'm going to make you regret everything you did to be by leaving you in this chair, trapped forever. The other gods might try to free you, but only I can get you out, which is something I'll never do. Goodbye, Hera."

Hephaestus walked away without looking back, just like Hera did all those years ago when she threw him away. The other gods tried to reason with Hephaestus, but he was too stubborn and bitter to listen. He said Hera wasn't his mother, that she didn't matter to him. He spend most of his days at his forge or his room. As for Hera, she miserably sat in the chain, uncomfortable and in pain. She couldn't eat, sleep, or move at all, it was awful. She began to regret what she did to Hephaestus, even crying about it. This went on for a while, until one day, everything changed. It all began one morning when Hephaestus was sitting in his room, when suddenly, he got a knock on his door.

" Um, come in." Hephaestus said to the person.

 The door opened and walking into the room, was a little girl. She was no older than four and had her thumb in her mouth. She had curly, golden blonde hair, blue eyes much like Hera's, and wore a simple white dress.

She took her thumb out of her mouth and said " Are you Hephaestus?"

" Yes, and you are?" Hephaestus asked.

" I'm Hebe, daughter of Zeus and Hera. You're my big brother." She answered.

Hephaestus looked at this little girl in surprise,

" Big brother?" He echoed in disbelief.

" Yes, you're my big brother. Mommy and daddy had me a little while before you came to Olympus." Hebe said " Also, I have a question. Why did you lock mommy up in a throne?" 

" Because she threw me away when I was a baby, like I was trash. She thought I was deformed and ugly, so she tossed me out." Hephaestus said bitterly.

" What, thank can't be true?!" Hebe said in disbelief.

" Yes, it is." Hephaestus grumbled " I was nothing but an embarrassment to her because I was so hideous. There's nothing more too it."

" I don't think that's quite it." Hebe said " Mommy is a very complicated lady, she had a lot of reasons to do the things she does. I'm sorry she hurt you, but maybe if you talk to her about it, you can work it out. Please talk to her, big brother."

Hephaestus had always been a push over when it came to little children, especially ones that gave him big puppy dog eyes like Hebe was giving him now.

" Alright," Hephaestus sighed " I'll go talk to Hera, er I mean mommy about why she threw me away."

" Thank you, big brother." Hebe said hugging him.

Hephaestus softened a little, he'd always was fond of small children.

" You're welcome, little sister." He said melting into the hug.

After that, Hephaestus went to go see Hera and she was right where he left her. She was still trapped on the magic throne he made for her, but she wasn't looking good. She was really pale, she looked so weak and frail. Hephaestus felt a twang of pity for her seeing her like this. He lumbered over to where she was, ready to talk things over.

" Mother, I'd like to talk with you." Hephaestus said with all the calmness he could muster, being around Hera stirred a lot of unpleasant emotions.

Hera turned her head weakly and her blue eyes looked into his. She looked very uncomfortable in that throne he'd made, it was like she was dying.

" You called me mother, that's the first time you've ever called me that." Hera said weakly.

Hephaestus took a deep breath and said " I've come to talk things over. I want to know why you threw me away, the real reason. I want to know the truth, mother, and like it or not, you're going to give it to me. Now, tell me the truth, why did you throw me away.

Hera groaned in pain for a moment, but then gained a somewhat regal composure and sighed.

" You weren't perfect." She answered truthfully.

" I wasn't perfect? What do you mean I wasn't perfect?" Hephaestus said raising an eyebrow.

" I mean that you weren't perfect. You see Hephaestus," Hera began " I'm queen of the gods and mortals expect me to be perfect. Every aspect of myself, something to wear, something to eat, something to do, it all has to be perfect. Being perfect means I have to have perfect children and that's why I threw you away. When you were born, I was appalled that I, Hera, queen of the gods, had given birth to an imperfect child. You were ugly and deformed yes, but part of me loved you. I knew you were mine, you were my child. But, I couldn't come to terms that you weren't perfect. If you weren't perfect, that means I wasn't perfect. If mortals knew that I gave birth to an imperfect child, they'd see that I wasn't perfect and they'd be disappointed. If I'm not perfect, what I am I?"

Hephaestus looked at Hera and finally he understood. Hera was a woman who had to live up the expectations of others to be perfect, which meant everything she did had to be perfect. She was so desperate to please that she had to take drastic measures in order to keep being seen as perfect. It was a huge burden that she had to bear and it was controlling her life. When she saw Hephaestus, she loved him, but couldn't keep him because he was imperfect. Hephaestus knew what it was like to carry a burden, his was knowing he'd been thrown away. It haunted him, but he got through it because despite not being perfect, he got through life the best he could.

" Mother, listen to me." Hephaestus said " I'm going to let you in a little secret, nobody's perfect. I know this for a fact because I'm not perfect and I've been aware of it all my life. We all have our little imperfections, but that's what makes us human. Despite us gods being immortal, they're human because they make mistakes just like humans. You've worked so hard to please others by being perfect and it's brought you nothing but unhappiness and misery. Mortals won't care that you're not perfect, it's okay to have some flaws. I forgive you mother, but you need accept that nobody's perfect."

Hera nodded as tears began to spring up her eyes, " Alright." she said softly.

Hephaestus lumbered closer to her chair and paced his finger on the peacock designs head and said some magic words. Instantly, the chains came undone, freeing Hera. Hera almost fell onto the floor due to being so weak, but Hephaestus caught her in his arms. Hera managed to have enough energy to wrap her slender arms around her son and hug him.

" I'm sorry, Hephaestus." Hera said as audible as she could.

" It's alright, mother." Hephaestus said as he lifted her up " Now, let's get you in bed, you need to rest."

Hephaestus carried his mother to her room and put her to bed, where she sleep peacefully for the first time in days. Hera was nursed back to health by the other gods, eventually feeling much better. She and Hephaestus reconciled, finally accepting each other as mother and son. Hephaestus even un cursed that throne he made for her. As a gift of thanks for giving the gods thrones, Zeus granted Mount Etna as his forge, where he could continue his work as a craftsmen. Hephaestus would often spend his days at the forge, creating magnificent creations fit for the gods. Hephaestus's talents were go great, that they attracted the attention of the Elder Cyclopes, the trio of immortal, one eyed giants who forged weapons for the gods during the Titanomachy. They often forged with Hephaestus and they even claimed him as their equal. Not only that, The Elder Cyclopes gifted Hephaestus with a pair of magic weapons. The first was a mighty bronze hammer with designs of fire on the hammer block. This hammer could spit blasts of powerful fire, repair anything just by touching it, cause volcanic eruptions when it struck the ground, and was totally unbreakable. The second was mighty axe with a very sharp blade that could generate a heat so intense, it could melt through the strongest metal. Hephaestus also built automatons to help him with his tools. To serve him, he made himself a pair of golden handmaidens. They were lovely beyond compare and were incredible life like. They wore golden dresses and since Hephaestus was their creator, they referred to him as "Papa", which made him love them so much. They were named Cliantha and Elexis. They often helped their creator at his forge and helped him move around when he didn't have his leg braces with him. They also served as his defenders whenever trouble arouse and they were formidable because they could transform their limbs into deadly weapons and they couldn't be destroyed, nor rusted, nor melted. Hephaestus was from then on known as the god of fire and forge. And that dear readers, is the true origin of Hephaestus.

Here's the second chapter, I hope you enjoy it.

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