Mythology Monday: Werewolves

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Greek mythology does feature a werewolf myth. Enjoy this deleted scene from a (very) early draft of Persephone to learn the full story behind werewolves.

Hestia leaned back, considering me with her fiery eyes. “Have you heard of the demigod Arcas, who killed the first werewolf–”

“Werewolf?” I sputtered.

“Zeus wished to add the muse Callisto to his list of conquests, however she was devoted to Artemis, and refused his advances. Zeus then disguised himself as Artemis, and seduced her.”

I raised my eyes at this information as Hestia continued, “Callisto was soon with child, and Artemis was enraged. Once the child was born, Artemis turned Callisto into a bear, and Zeus hid the child Arcas from Artemis.

He grew, and lived a relatively normal life until one day he got in trouble for stealing from King Lycaon. Once Lycaon discovered who he possessed in his dungeons, he tried to blackmail Zeus, threatening to kill Arcas unless Zeus blessed him with more wealth and power.”

I laughed, and she smiled at me, “Yes, not his brightest moment. Zeus cursed the king to become a werewolf, and allowed his son to have the honor of hunting down a beast with all the strength of a wolf and all the cunning of man–”

“The perfect game,” I muttered.

“Beg pardon?”

“Never mind,” I said waving my hand for her to continue.

“After a period of adjustment, Arcas hunted the King and successfully killed him, though he received a mortal wound in the process–”

“Did he have any kids? Pass down the curse?”

“Any children he created in human form remained human, and any children he created in wolf form were wolf.”

“Did he bite anyone?”

“That would not change them into a wolf. The only way to transform from human to animal is to be cursed by a god.”

“Oh.” I said disappointed.

Hestia smiled at me, “As Arcas lay dying in the woods, a large bear suddenly approached him–”

“Oh no!”

“Yes, the bear was his mother, as he drew back his bow to kill her, and when she realized he did not recognize her, despite her lingering in the shadows and watching him his entire life, she died of a broken heart. Zeus was horrified by their deaths, and in a rare moment of guilt memorialized them both in the stars as the constellations Ursa Major, and Ursa Minor.”

Vampires VS Werewolves Blog Hop

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Sorry this didn’t go up yesterday! Scheduling issues on the blog!

* giveaway ends on the 20th. At 11:59pm.

Vampires versus werewolves:

If we’re going by Greek mythology, they both sucked.

Vampires are mentioned here and there in the old Greek myths. There was an entire island of blood drinkers in The Odyssey and birds called strix that drank blood.

Hecate had a daughter named Empusa that would seduce men an drink their blood while they slept.

Lamia was a daughter of Poseidon who had an affair with Zeus. When Hera discovered their affair, she cursed Lamia and forced her to devour her kids. After all her children were killed she continued to drink the blood of normal children. Zeus then blinded her so that… Well I’m not sure exactly how that was supposed to help other than making it more difficult to catch the children.

There is only one instance of werewolves in Greek mythology.

Once upon a time the nymph Callisto and Artemis were lovers. Callisto had no desire to be with anyone else but Zeus decided he had to have her, so he disguise himself as Artemis and the two had sex. They had a child named Arcas.

As punishment for her infidelity, Artemis transformed Callisto into a bear. Meanwhile, in a faraway Kingdom, Lycaon decided that he wanted the power of the gods himself. So he kidnapped the now grown son of Zeus Arcas,(Lycaon was also Arcas’ grandfather on his mothers side but that’s neither here more there) put him on an alter, and shouted a challenge to the sky. If Zeus valued his sons life, he would come down and save him.

Zeus did. And then he turned Lycaon into a wolf, gave his kid hunting gear, and said “have fun!”

Arcas wasted no time hunting down Lycaon. On his way back to what would now be his kingdom, he spotted a bear. The bear was actually his mother, but he didn’t know that. She was so excited to see him that she ran forward to embrace him. He, terrified, notched an arrow. Zeus arrived on the scene just in time to avert tragedy. He whisked them away into the stars where mother and son are reunited forever as Ursa Major and minor.

As far a as my favorites in the modern day go? I prefer vampires. They just have more finesse. However, book wise, my absolute favorite is Bitten, which is a book about werewolves by Kelley Armstrong.

Warning: Bitten is not Young adult, so if you win my contest, do no choose this book if you are under eighteen. I will happily substitute it for a young adult book by the same author that also features a werewolf called “The Awakening.”

My favorite vampire books for the moment are the Vampire Academy series so I’ll give away the first in that series.

Of course the winners are welcome to a copy of either one of my books.

To enter: leave a comment with your preference, vampire or werewolf and your favorite story.

Additional entries:

Follow me anywhere you can think of (blog, Facebook, twitter, tmblr, Pinterest, linked in, anywhere you can find me) and leave a comment for EACH entry.

2 Winners will be chosen at random from the comments, they can have any book they choose as an ebook. Enjoy 🙂