King of the Gods
The twelve Olympians, who dwell on Mt. Olympus.
The mighty king of the Olympian pantheon, Zeus was a powerful deity famed for his powerful thunderbolts, authoritative leadership, and many sordid affairs. Known as lord of the skies, "cloud-gatherer", and simply "father", Zeus played a role in many major Greek myths, from the creation of humanity to the downfall of the Titans.
Faithful Hera was the Greek goddess of women, family and marriage. The wife of mighty Zeus, she served as queen of the Olympian deities. Despite (or perhaps because of) her status as the paragon of faithfulness, Hera was fated to battle endlessly with Zeus's infidelities and seek fruitless vengeance against his lovers.
The defiant lord of the sea, Poseidon was a powerful member of the Olympian pantheon second only to his brother Zeus. Never content with the status quo, he would often challenge the natural order of things, though such challenges were not always successful.
The Greek goddess of fertility, Demeter was a goddess defined by her relationship to agriculture. This relationship made her an incredibly important figure across the Greek world. Outside of agriculture, Demeter was known for her motherly attributes, and was particularly famous for both her role in the Eleusinian Mysteries and her connection to her daughter Persephone.
The goddess of wisdom, craft, and warfare, Athena was a powerful goddess who often worked strategically to achieve her goals. Befitting her status as the patron of Athens, Athena was sympathetic to mortal causes and often aided heroes on their quests.
The patron of music, poetry, medicine, order, prophecy, and many other fields, Apollo was a major player in the Olympian pantheon. Adored by the Greek populace, Apollo was known as much for his romantic and mortal exploits as he was for his patronage. Due to the diverse roles he played in Greek society, Apollo could be seen as embodying the entirety of Greek culture.
The protectress of the hunt, guardian of the unspoiled wilds, and champion of mothers and maidens, Artemis was a major goddess within the Olympian pantheon. The twin sister of Apollo, Artemis shared his love of the bow and was unmatched as a hunter. Unlike her brother, Artemis preferred life outside the confines of society, and could often be found somewhere in the wilderness.
The god of rage, terror, and violence, Ares was an impulsive figure in Greek mythology who often found himself outmatched in battle. His romantic exploits, however, were much more successful, and he was well-known for his affair with Aphrodite. To the Greeks, Ares represented the triumph of passion over wisdom, and all the dangers that such a thing entailed.
The goddess of love, passion and procreation, sensual Aphrodite was the wellspring of both homosexual and heterosexual erotic desire. Known equally for her generosity and fury, Aphrodite had trysts with gods and mortals alike and would often interfere in mortal events when she felt spurned. More than any other Greek deity, Aphrodite embodied all the possibilities that love and desire had to offer.
God of the kiln, master of metallurgy, and patron of all artisans, Hephaestus was the deft and dexterous craftsman of Mount Olympus. Though he was physically disabled, Hephaestus still possessed a cunning and inventive mind that he used to help his allies and ensnare his foes. While Hephaestus was not the focus of any major Greek myths, he did play a pivotal role in many stories as both support and foil.
God of commerce, luck, travel, medicine, and much more, Hermes was a wily trickster deity who served as the messenger of the Olympian gods. Neither good nor evil, Hermes actions were often driven by what he found most amusing at the time. Despite his seemingly unscrupulous nature, Hermes was still capable of heroic deeds and performed them on numerous occasions.
The goddess of hearth and home, Hestia was a beautiful Greek deity about which little is known. Though she appeared in myths set around the war between the Olympians and the Titans, she was absent from many later myths due to her dedication to the domestic sphere. Dutiful, obedient, and inconspicuous, Hestia embodied the Greek ideals of motherhood and womanhood.
Dionysus was the Greek god of wine, fertility, and uninhibited passion. Wherever music inspired dance, wherever wine led to revelry, wherever religion sparked ecstasy, Dionysus was thought to be at work.
Other major deities.
King of the underworld and ruler of the dead, Hades was a fearsome deity who existed on the fringes of the Olympian order. Brother to Zeus and Poseidon, Hades was a figure who preferred solitude to the drama of the other Greek gods. While he was certainly an intimidating figure, Hades was not particularly evil or cunning, as he has often been portrayed in modern media.