Mythology Monday: Ariadne

Ariadne, Greek mythology retellings, young adult greek mythology, Dionysus, maze, TheseusAriadne (Libera) was one of the few humans in Greek mythology to be elevated to a divine status. She was a Princess of Crete, daughter to Minos, and she played a large role in Theseus’s quest to solve the labyrinth and defeat the minotaur (she gave Theseus a sword and thread). Theseus took her with him when he left Crete, but being the class act that he was, then abandoned her while she slept. The lesson here, Greek princesses, is do not defy your father to help heroes save the day, because heroes are jack-asses, and you will lose everything. Seriously. Every time. (Though in fairness, some versions of the myth have her being brutally murdered by Artemis before he could “enjoy” her, so it’s possible he didn’t abandon her, he just thought she was permanently dead. It’s also possible Dionysus told Theseus to leave because he wanted to marry her/Athena warned him away and Theseus had had enough experience going against gods to leave).

Fortunately, Dionysus found her and fell in love. The two married and she became a goddess either by walking up the mountain with him after their wedding, or after being killed by Artemis and brought back to life by Dionysus, or after being turned to stone with the head of Medusa by Perseus and brought back to life by Dionysus, or after killing herself and being dragged back from the Underworld by Dionysus. It just depends on who is telling the myth.

In my universe, she remained mortal and was simply abandoned by Theseus. This is because Dionysus doesn’t exist in my universe (well, not as a single god), and Theseus being a jerk is completely in keeping with his stories in mythology (this is the guy who abducted ten year old Helen of Troy and helped Pirithous try to abduct Persephone from the Underworld after all). I’d love to use her in later stories, because she’s an interesting character, but since her father is a dead judge in Hades’s Underworld, that would be hard to explain.