Super-ultra-mega-spoiler warning for Iron Queen.
You have been warned……
A reader asked what happened to Demeter at the end of Iron Queen. “There was the part with the sad goodbye of her transferring her powers to Persephone, so was that it? Did she die?”
Yes. Demeter willed all her power to Persephone to force the coming of age rite that enabled her daughter to use the full breadth of her power safely. There wasn’t even enough left to maintain a soul. Why?
Well, gods can either be created or born. Demeter wanted Persephone to be born, to experience infancy, childhood, adolescence, and all the human rites of passage. But until she came of age, Persephone was essentially human physically speaking. As she drew closer to maturity (defined by the moment a body is at its absolute peak, frozen in time just before it starts to decline, so there’s variation from god to god), her body could handle more power, but not enough to deal with fealty from the entire Pantheon so she could defeat Zeus. And anything less, and she wouldn’t have been able to defeat Zeus.
Persephone deals with the fallout from that grief in the Aphrodite trilogy.
I get asked a lot if Persephone is ever going to return as a main character. Short answer, no. Iron Queen is the last book in the Persephone portion of the Daughters of Zeus series.
Slightly longer answer: The ripples the events that occurred in the Persephone trilogy caused are still ongoing. Aphrodite’s trilogy focuses heavily on what comes next for the Pantheon after the boss battle in Iron Queen, and Persephone plays a major role in the Aphrodite’s trilogy. She even narrates a few chapters in Venus Rising. The ending of Venus Rising for sure will have an impact on Persephone’s future, so she will certainly appear in Artemis’s trilogy, possibly even as a POV character somewhere down the line.
I yawned and inspected my nails. Divine meetings were boring as hell.
Hades stood in the front of the room, his dark clothes sucking in the cheery brightness of Demeter’s home like a black hole. “Who are we missing?” Hades paused, deep in thought, gaze fixed on Demeter’s white couch. “Is anyone else still around?”
“Hebe?” Ares suggested. He hadn’t shed the jacket, despite the stifling heat of the overcrowded home.
I winced, expecting an onslaught of information and images to rush over me, but there wasn’t much to know about Hebe. She was the goddess of youth, and apparently—
“Dead,” Hades confirmed.
I would have thought a goddess of youth would be safe. This culture seemed to worship it enough.
“Eileithyia?” one of the muses asked, referring to the goddess of the pain of childbirth.
Wait, seriously? I racked my brain and came up with hundreds upon thousands of useless gods of mists and doorways and clouds. No wonder so many of the gods were dead. What a waste of worship.
Eilethyia (Lucina or Natio) was the goddess of the pain of childbirth. Some versions of the myth say she was actually two goddesses, one who furthered birth and one who protracted labor. Others indicate she was an aspect of either Hera or Artemis. She’s sometimes a daughter of Zeus and Hera, sometimes she’s considered linked to the Fates and outdate Cronus himself.
Eilethyia was sent by Hera to stop Hercules’s mother’s labor, but she failed. Otherwise, she’s not featured in many stories (though she was worshipped by several cults). It’s no wonder she didn’t last long in my universe.