Mythology Monday: Jason

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*spoiler warning, the following excerpt comes from an early draft of Love and War, which takes place AFTER Aphrodite. **

As I turned a corner, I spotted Jason walking up the hill toward the cabins, carrying a large box.
“Jason?” Had they finished unloading the shipment? A quick glance toward the dock assured me that wasn’t the case. Then what was he doing? I caught up just in time to see him walk around the hospital toward the dumpsters.
“Oh,” I said, feeling foolish. He was probably just throwing something away. Rolling my eyes at myself, I rounded the corner of the hospital and paused. Jason wasn’t here.
The hospital backed up into a thin strip of forest. Frowning, I batted the low hanging branches out of the way, and stumbled through the underbrush. I walked until I reached the rocky ledge at the end of the ocean and saw no sign of him.
“Jason!” I called, glancing around. Considering how much noise I’d made going through the trees, I’d have heard him if he was here. Even the brush looked undisturbed, except for where I passed through.
“Weird,” I declared, circling the building once more. When I walked back around the dumpster, my skin prickled, hair raising on the back of my neck. I paused, one foot still raised to take the next step.

Strangest thing. For a second, I could have sworn I heard screaming.

~@~

Jason was a very, very famous Greek hero who was unique in that he was not technically a demigod. Jason’s father was Aeson who was the son of Cretheus and Tyro.

Cretheus was Aeolus’s son. Aeolus was kind of the god of wind, depending on which version of Aeolus you’re talking about, but that is a complexity for another day. All that matters for this myth is that all versions of Aeolus referred to in Jason’s genealogy are either the wind god, or the grandkid of the wind god by Poseidon.

Tyro was the daughter of Salmoneus, another of Aeolus’ children. So he’s got demigod in his blood going back several generations and linking to the same god.

Meanwhile, his mother, in most versions of the myth was Alcimede. She was the daughter of Clymene and either Phylacus or Cephalus, either way her father was a descendant of Aeolus. Clymene was a daughter of Minyas who was a son of Poseidon and Hermippe, who was a daughter of Boeotus who was a son of Poseidon.

So super inbreeding = super hero in Greek Mythology, yes?

Anyway, Jason’s Uncle Pelias (Aeson’s half brother via Tyro) overthrew Aeson, taking over Thessaly. He then killed off all of Aeson’s descendants so there would be no challenge to his throne, but Alcimede pretended Jason was still born and the entire village played along and wailed and cried for the dead baby who was actually fine. She sent Jason to Chiron the Centaur for his safety, and visited so frequently that most people figured she was having an affair with Chiron. She encouraged that rumor and helped it spread because no one knew Jason was in his keeping and it allowed her to see her son.

Meanwhile Pelias was paranoid someone would overthrow him so he consulted the Oracle of Delphi who warned him to beware of the man with one sandal.

Jason grew up without an idea of who he was, just figuring he was some normal kid undergoing hero training by a centaur. When he was old enough to rule, his mother told him the truth of who he was, and he set off to reclaim his kingdom. He lost a sandal on the trip because he paused to help an old woman cross the river. The old woman was actually Hera, and she gave him a blessing.

He gets to Pelias, who notices his missing sandal, and explains he’s there for his kingdom. Pelias tells him he’ll surrender the kingdom to him if he can find the Golden Fleece. More on the Golden Fleece next Monday.

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One thought on “Mythology Monday: Jason

  1. Pingback: Jason and the Argonauts Master Post | Kaitlin Bevis

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