Greek Mythology: Typhoeus (Typhon) – Gaia’s last hope

20160724_174807-1A scream so primal burst from Gaia’s (Gaea) lips it shook the ocean floor and formed a tidal wave.  Water surged thirty feet in the air. Hundreds of humans drowned beneath the wall of salt water. She wiped sweat from her brow, sneered then prepared her body to push.

The damp heat of the cave comforted her. No one would look here in Arimoi. She wiggled her toes in the dirt. The lone torch light flickered shadows over stalagmites.

Gaia was fed up with her grandson.

He drove me to this, she thought.

Zeus held her beloved Gigantes (Giants) prisoner in the underworld. The womanizing lout had already deposed her elder children, the Titans, from power. That victory hadn’t satisfied him. Nothing did. Zeus wanted to rule all, even her.

She was here first and would be here last.

Gaia had helped with his rebellion, a decision that filled her with acidic bitterness.

Should have let Cronos (Cronus) digest the egomaniac.

The spawn kicked her in agreement. It often pounded so hard in her womb, she wondered if the babe would storm its way out. She rubbed her swollen belly, feeling another contraction brew.

Revenge had made love making sweeter than a honeycomb. The Earth and The Abyss had filled the gap between them. Tartarus’ seed had shot down her volcano, flooded over the ridges and nearly choked her with ecstasy.

Pain rippled up her spine. Gaia stifled a moan. It wouldn’t be long now. Before Helios’ chariot crossed the sky, her youngest son would be at her breast.

Gaia drew up her knees and pushed.

***

And so the great Typhoeus (Typhon) was born. He was the monster of monsters, father of monsters and Gaia’s last hope to defeat the Olympians and free the Giants and Titans trapped in Tartarus by Zeus.

Typhoeus (Typhon), described in myth as a giant with multiple serpent heads, had the upper body of a man and fingers with snakes at the end.  His lower half from the thighs down were either a pair or a hundred serpent tails. Typhoeus’ arms stretched as far as the eye could see and his head scraped the sky. Bat like wings on his back would block the sun when opened. Multilingual, he spoke the language of the gods, evil spirits and every human and animal.

As Typhoeus approached Mount Olympus, breathing fire and eclipsing the sun, the Olympians collectively wet themselves. Leaving puddles on their marble floors, the mighty gods transformed into their spirit animals and fled. Aphrodite became a fish; Ares a boar; Hephaestus an ox; Apollo a raven; Hera a cow; Poseidon a horse; Artemis a wildcat; Hermes an ibis; Dionysus a goat; and so on.

Even the supposed king of the gods turned tail and ran in the guise of a ram no less.

Typhoeus must have thought the barn doors of the Olympic farm had broken open when he arrived at the gods’ mountain palace.

Only Athena didn’t suffer from cowardice. She mocked Zeus as he fled, stating that she was ashamed to have popped out of his head.

Somewhere between Mount Olympus and the next town, Zeus found his testicles. He returned to Olympus to face Typhoeus.

Still too yellow to fight the monster hand to hand, Zeus lobbed thunderbolts at him. The ground shook. Sky and sea seethed. Typhoeus was driven back. Lightening seared his flesh to bone. Typhoeus fell to his knees in a fiery crash, clutching his shoulder, crying in great pain.

Zeus cackled with joy. Adjusting his toga, like a big boy god, Zeus left the safety of his fortified palace to finish off the invader. As Zeus poised to strike, Typhoeus grinned.

He grabbed Zeus and pummeled the thunder out of him. He burned Zeus with fire and ripped out the sinews from his arms and legs. God’s blood covered Typhoeus’ hands.

Typhoeus dragged Zeus and the sinews to a cave. He told the she-serpent Delphyne to guard them until he returned.  The thunderbolts had wounded him so he sought time to recover.

Gods Hermes and Pan had followed Typhoeus to the cave and waited until he left. The duo hatched a plan to distract Delphyne and save Zeus.

Pan raised a ruckus outside that scared Delphyne and led her away from the cave. Hermes snuck in, found Zeus’ hidden sinews and fastened them back on.

Typhoeus encountered the Moirai (Fates) on his respite who told him they knew a way for him to regain his strength. Listening was his downfall. The Moirai were the daughters of Zeus and the Titaness Themis, not neutral parties nor Gaia loyalists. They told Typhoeus to eat the fruit of mortals (possibly apples).

He followed their trickery disguised as helpful advice. The food weakened him.

Restored by Hermes, Zeus hunted Typhoeus. He easily found him.

Zeus released relentless volleys of thunderbolts. Electricity heated the sky. Scorching winds blew down on cities. Typhoeus barely survived. He fled, but Zeus caught up with him.

The human food had debilitated Typhoeus beyond repair.

In desperation he threw mountains at Zeus. The Olympian deflected with more lightening.

Zeus picked up Mount Etna and slammed it down on Typhoeus, burying the enfeebled monster.

***

Gaia withered in agony for her children once more, the Hecatoncheires, Cyclopes, Titans, Giants and especially for her most magnificent creation, Typhoeus. All brought low by fear, lies and deception. Earthquakes rocked those on her surface. Coliseums toppled. Marble stones crushed scampering and screaming Athenians. The Earth parted, swallowing livestock. Cities disappeared.

Voices wailed to Zeus to save them. Blood of a thousand calves washed the streets in sacrifice.

Gaia was galled all the more.

Typhoeus’ immortal soul shriveled to a pea beneath Mount Etna.

She would avenge them. Gaia balled her fists, soothed the fault lines on her skin. The Olympians would fall. All gods would fall.

He drove me to this.

***

Hope you liked this week’s post and my take on Greek myth. You can read last week’s blog to learn about Typhoeus’ lover Ekhidna (Echidna), the mother of monsters.

Please let me know what you think.

Next week’s blog will share information about the three castes in my urban fantasy series, The Children of Ekhidna and Typhoeus.

10 thoughts on “Greek Mythology: Typhoeus (Typhon) – Gaia’s last hope

  1. Susan Leighton says:

    So you are a student of Greek mythology? You definitely have the knowledge of many gods. I know a few of them that you mentioned but I am not familiar with Gaia. Is this part of your urban fantasy series or the research behind it? Yes, I have a lot of questions, lol. I admire people who can create these types of works of fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

    • stacybenedict says:

      Hi Susan! Not a student per se, but a lover of. I’ve enjoyed reading myths (Greek/Norse/Sumerian) for a few years now. This inspired me to push ahead with my novel series. The primordial goddess and embodiment of the Earth–Gaia–is part of the backstory mythology in my fantasy world. When I started my blog I had no idea what to write about. Since I had done so much research on Greek mythology, I decided to turn the novel backstory into blogs, short stories and/or info pieces. The Gaia / Typhon / Ekhidna blog stories are like prequels to the series that will have more relevance in the 3rd book. Thank you for commenting and your support!

      Liked by 1 person

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