Mythology Monday: The trials for the Golden Fleece

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Jason’s so understanding sometimes, it’s ridiculous. He’s not even mad about the horrible things I thought about him. Sometimes I wonder if he charms me. I go back, and look over this journal, see how upset I was, how angry. But it goes away when I’m with him. All my reasons, all my paranoia, all my anger  feels like it gets coated, covered up by sappy, happy thoughts.

But I’m immune to charm. Jason made sure of it before he brought me on the island. Not everyone here can control their powers. But what if immunity doesn’t work the way we think it does? What happens if you want to be charmed? If you want to believe someone. Does that give them control? Or would it matter if they had powers or not at that point?

~@~

As the Argonauts approached the island of Colchis, they spotted Zeus’s eagle flying through the air. This eagle was so big that it disturbed the water and caused the ship to rock. The eagle was, incidentally, on its way to eat Prometheus’s liver. Yum.

Jason wanted to negotiate with the King rather than take the fleece by force, but the gods weren’t so sure that would work out for him, so Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite plot to have Eros (Cupid) shoot the king’s daughter with one of his magical arrows. The king’s daughter is Medea. Yes that one. More on Medea on another Monday, but that arrow is why I pity her more than abhor her. The woman had no choices in her life.

The King agreed to give Jason the fleece, but only if he performed three tasks; plowing a field with fire-breathing oxen that he had to yoke himself, sowing the teeth of dragons into a field, and overcoming the sleepless dragon that guarded the Golden Fleece. Jason felt pretty overwhelmed when he heard the list, but to be fair, the King didn’t ask him to do anything he hadn’t done on multiple occasions by the King himself.

Meanwhile, Medea struggled with a crisis of conscience. Do nothing or help Jason and betray her father. She actually considered suicide, but Cupid’s magic is too strong to allow death to be a way out.  When she saw Jason outside of Hecate’s temple, she basically jumps him. After a long night, she swore to help him through each of the trials and in return he swore marriage.

For task 1: Plowing the field with fire breathing bulls that he had to yoke himself, Medea provided an ointment that protected him from the heat of the flames.

Task two, sowing the field with dragon teeth, actually didn’t sound so bad until the teeth sprouted into an army of warriors that Riordan fans will recognize as the Spartoi.

The Spartoi were children of Ares. They were creepy as hell but very stupid. Medea told Jason about Cadmus, the founder of Thebes. Cadmus killed a dragon, and Athena told him to throw the teeth on the ground. When he did, the Spartoi sprang up, but Cadmus was terrified of them, so he threw a stone in their midst. The Spartoi, thinking the stone had been thrown by another warrior, started fighting one another. As per Medea’s advice, Jason tried the same trick and the Spartoi attacked and defeated one another.

For the final task, facing the sleepless dragon, Jason used a sleeping potion Medea gave him.

The tasks were completed, but the king refused to relinquish the golden fleece, so Jason took it, and Medea, and fled the island.

 

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2 thoughts on “Mythology Monday: The trials for the Golden Fleece

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

  2. Pingback: Mythology Monday: Harmonia | Kaitlin Bevis

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