"I created them, and they reward my love with defiance?"
God of ...
Heaven, Thunder and Lightnings
Lives in ...
Neutral later Good
The Olympian Gods
(1981) Clash of the Titans
Zeus is the Greek God of Heaven. He is the ruler of Mount Olympus and the Gods, after the defeat of his father, Kronos. He has two brothers, Hades and Poseidon, and is the father of Perseus, the main hero of the story. He originally was the second strongest of the Gods, until he made Humans love him and hate Hades so Zeus could grow stronger.
A long time ago, before mortals existed, the Titans ruled the world. However, Kronos, king of the Titans, had been warned of a prophecy that one of his six children would kill him and take control of the world from him. In response, Kronos began swallowing his children whole in hopes of preventing the prophecy from coming true. When it came time for Zeus to be swallowed, Kronos's wife, Rhea, disgusted at his father's nature, tricked her vile husband into swallowing a stone wrapped in a blanket while the real Zeus was carried to safety by an eagle. When he grew to manhood, Zeus returned home in disguise and gave Kronos a potion which made him choke, causing Kronos to regurgitate the stone Rhea substituted for Zeus and his five children. After Zeus freed his siblings from their father's belly, the six of them joined forces to overthrow their father. Later, Zeus went to the Underworld where he freed the Cyclopses who gave him lightning bolts as a gift. Afterwards, Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades declared a ten year war on the Titans called the Titanomachy. By the end of the war, the Gods emerged victorious and Zeus finally defeated Kronos and banished him and the Titans to Tartarus, where he hoped they would remain imprisoned forever.
Zeus became the God of the Sky, as well as the King of the Gods, while Poseidon became God of the Sea and Hades became the god of the Underworld. Zeus then created mortals to populate the world.
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Many years later, Acrisius, king of Argos,imprisoned his daughter Danae, jealous of her beauty. Zeus, hearing of this, became curious, and took the form of a shower of gold to visit her. Seeing her loveliness, he beczme enamored with her and slept with her, resulting in a child, which infuriated Acrisius. In anger, Acrisius trapped both Danae and her newborn son in a sarcophagus and threw them off a cliff into the sea. Zeus retaliated against this by having Poseidon unleash the Kraken which destroys Argus.
Zeus was also responsible for deforming Calibos after he killed diverse animals including a herd of winged horses. Using a model of Perseus, Zeus gave him a special sword and a special shield for him to use in his quest. When Zeus wanted Athena to give Perseus her owl, she had Hephaestus make Bubo who was sent in it's place.
Clash of the Titans (2010)
The creator of man
In the remake, Zeus' origins differ slightly in that he was only the second most powerful God after Hades. It was Zeus who urged his brother to create the Kraken, a beast powerful enough to defeat the Titans. Afterwards Zeus had Kronos imprisoned in Tatarus and the Kraken locked away in the Underworld. As noted by Hephaestus, Zeus had become drunk on power and openly plotted to surpass Hades. Therefore he created the human race and instructed them to pray more to him and shun Hades utterly. Becoming the supreme God, Zeus then exiled Hades to the Underworld for eternity. Hades soon realised that he had been tricked and was outraged.
Prior to the events of the film, humanity begins to rebel against the Gods, likely as the Gods have been abusing their power and inflicted damage on the human race. King Acrisius of Argos forbids his men from praying to Zeus and soon leads an open war against Olympus itself. Rather than crush Acrisius by force, Zeus mocks the King by impersonating him and sleeping with the King's wife, Danae. Acrisius arrives on the scene, just as Zeus has had intercourse with her. Danae immediately deduces that the impostor is Zeus and is stunned.
In a made rage, Acrisius traps both Danae and her newborn son in a sarcophagus and throws them into the sea. Enraged, Zeus hurls a lightning bolt at Acrisius, killing him and reincarnating him as the monster Calibos. Danae dies at sea, but her child survives and is found by a family of fishermen. They adopt the boy and name him Perseus. Acrisius abandons Argos in shame, but his son Kepheus becomes King and continues to defy the Gods.
Defiance of men
"There will be no truce!" - Zeus is angered by the rebellion of humans
By the time Perseus has matured, the humans have all but abandoned prayer to the Gods and have torn down their monuments. The Gods quarrel amongst themselves on Olympus, with Poseidon urging them to make war on Argos, but Apollo and the other Gods urge for clemency. Zeus believes he does not need to sue for peace, as he created them in the first place. Hades then arrives and offers to smite them with force and intimidation. Zeus is interested in this new counsel, therefore he gives his blessing for Hades to do what he will.
Hades plan is to unleash the Kraken on Argos, which will sweep them from the earth unless they surrender Princess Andromeda. Zeus is later told by Hermes that Perseus is Zeus' demigod son, who is now in Argos. Zeus dismisses the matter, believing that Perseus is no different to all other God-hating humans. Later however Zeus changes his mind and decides to protect his son, sending him a godly sword and a winged horse named Pegasus. Perseus accepts both gifts and begins a quest to stop Hades.
Later, while Perseus was heading for Medusa's lair at the edge Underworld, Zeus approaches him in disguise and revealed himself to his son. Zeus offers to make Perseus a god, but Perseus refuses. Zeus, aware of Perseus' intentions, gives Perseus a golden coin to pay the ferryman of the Underworld, Charon. Later, on Mount Olympus, Hades announces that the time is up for Argos. Zeus appears to hesitate, but he hardens his heart and orders the Kraken to be unleashed on Argos.
The Kraken begins to destroy Argos, but in the process many of Zeus' worshipers are killed, weakening the God King even further. Hades then taunts him as only he is benefiting from the destruction of Argos, Zeus orders his brother to submit, but Hades uses his power to repel him as he has now grown stronger than Zeus. Hades then blasts Zeus for wantonly banishing him to the Underworld and declares that his reign is over. Zeus reminds Hades that Perseus is still in Argos, after which Hades takes his leave.
After Perseus uses Medusa's disembodied head to turn the Kraken to stone, Perseus confronts Hades and calls upon Zeus to help him. Perseus hurls his sword at Hades while Zeus hurls a lightning bolt and merges it with Perseus's sword, which strikes Hades in the chest and blasts him into the Underworld.
After rescuing Andromeda, Zeus visits Perseus and praises him for his heroics. He asks again if Perseus might consider becoming a god, but Perseus is happier to live as a human. Zeus thanks Perseus for risking everything to save the world from Hades. As a reward, Zeus revives Io, whom Perseus had fallen for and lost on the quest.
Wrath of the Titans
"There is a calamity coming" - Zeus warns Perseus
Ten years following the death of the Kraken, the Gods have now weakened to the point that they can be killed. To make matters worse, their lack of power also causes Tartarus to fall apart and unleash monsters. Zeus knows that Kronos himself will soon escape, so Zeus takes measures to ensure the safety of the world. He calls on all the remaining Gods, including Hades, to unite in the Underworld and rebuild Tartarus. He also visits Perseus and takes an interest in his grandson, Helius.
Perseus is ill inclined to join them, deeming it "...business for Gods". Zeus stresses that they need everyone's strength, but Perseus insists that he can't leave his son unprotected. Zeus is forced to accept this and departs.
In the Underworld, Zeus arrives with his thunderbolt in hand. He reunites with his brother Poseidon, who is glad to see him. But Zeus receives a frosty greeting from his son Ares, who pointedly asks why Perseus has not joined them. Zeus brushes the matter aside. At the gates of Tartarus, Hades finally meets them, where Zeus tries to reconcile with his brother. Hades agrees to unite, but only under his terms. Zeus and Poseidon are attacked by the Makhai. In the chaos that follows, Poseidon is wounded by a fireball to the chest.
Zeus is dismayed, but then Ares uses his hammer to knock Zeus down and render him unconscious. Ares then steals his thunderbolt.
"You forget our father once tried to kill us?!" - Zeus learns of the deal with Kronos
After Zeus recovers, Ares is binding him in chains. Zeus asks why his own son would betray him, but Ares does not elaborate. Zeus learns that Hades and Ares have joined Kronos, intending to offer Zeus' divine powers to the Titan so that he may free himself. Zeus is angered and dismayed by this, reminding Hades that their own father once tried to kill them. Zeus then laments the damage he has done to Hades and seems resigned to his fate.
In the heart of Tartarus, Ares binds Zeus to an altar before Kronos. Zeus remarks how Ares has fallen in comparison to humans. which angers him. In a fit of rage Ares beats his father, loudly confessing how Zeus paid more attention to his "favourite son" Perseus. Zeus simply expresses regret, which does not satisfy Ares, who seems intent on killing him. Hades is forced to intervene and knocks Ares aside, reminding him that Zeus is now for Kronos to deal with. Zeus' power begins to seep out of his flesh like molten lava.
Escape from Tartarus
"Release me Hades, I know there is still good in you" - Zeus reasons with his brother
Zeus questions why Hades would join Kronos out of petty revenge. Hades answers that the death of a God is to be wiped from existence, with no afterlife to follow. Hades fears that this will be their fate soon. Zeus soon loses all of his powers and Kronos is fully restored. Zeus then apologises to Hades and wonders if he can forgive him. Hades is taken aback by this, but Zeus assures his brother that he bears him no ill will. Before Hades can react, Ares attacks him and tries to use the thunderbolt. But Zeus commands the thunderbolt to resist Ares. Zeus then sees his father Kronos awakening. Hades then attacks Ares and knocks him over a cliff, where they both fall into Tartarus.
Perseus, Andromeda and Agenor arrive to free Zeus. After a struggle, they manage to break the chains binding him. Ares reappears and tries to kill them, but he is thwarted again by Hades. Zeus urges Hades to join them as they escape. While Hades and Ares struggle, Ares seizes the pitchfork and hurls it into his father's back. Zeus is injured, but he takes the pitchfork and the trident. With their combined powers, Zeus and the others escape Tartarus and return to the surface.
Final battle with Kronos
"Only the Spear of Triam can defeat Kronos" - Zeus advises Perseus
Zeus tells Perseus that he has no power left to fight and is slowly dying. Perseus resolves to retrieve Zeus' thunderbolt from Ares, as he needs it for the Spear of Triam. Andromeda and her army attempt to battle the Makhai and Kronos. Later, Zeus is visited by Hades, who forgives his brother and shares his immortality with him, which restores Zeus' powers as well as his armour. With the two brothers reconciled, Zeus says to Hades "Let's have some fun!"
Zeus and Hades then destroy the invading Makhai, after which they confront Kronos himself. Zeus claims the first strike and casts lightning at the Titan, which injures Kronos but enrages him. Kronos unleashes waves of magma and fireballs on the earth. Zeus then combines his lightning with Hades' cloud of dust, which they propel against Kronos. The Titan unleashes a pyrochlastic cloud against them, which Zeus is able to block with his powers. But Kronos unleashes another wave, which overwhelms Zeus and blasts him into a rock. Nevertheless Perseus arrives with the Spear of Triam and destroys Kronos.
Zeus is dying and Hades can no longer revive him as he too has spent his power. Zeus commends Perseus and bids him farewell. Zeus then turns to dust and vanishes from existence.
Powers and abilities
Zeus was originally the second strongest of the Gods, but when he became the King of Olympus he was the most powerful God of all. He is credited with being the creator of mankind and their greatest protector. While the relationship between Gods and men was cordial, Zeus maintained dominance over the world.
- Atmokinesis - like his mythical counterpart, Zeus had power over the skies. This gave him a plethora of abilities, most notably his use of lightning. Zeus could gather clouds and summon fierce storms. Zeus used lightning to burn Acrisius. He also uses lightning to battle the Makhai as well as Kronos himself. Zeus' lightning is powerful enough to stun the Titan King.
- Telekinesis - Zeus easily tosses aside Makhai with a wave of his arm. He also halted a vast ash cloud.
- Teleportation - Zeus can teleport instantly, usually by morphing into a bolt of lightning.
- Shapeshifting - Zeus can turn into a giant eagle, but he can also impersonate other individuals, such as when he disguised himself as Acrisius.
- Strength - Zeus has extreme strength. When the God angrily pounded his throne, the impact sent a shockwave through Olympus. Otherwise Zeus barges a Makhai into the air with his elbow.
- Father of the humans - Zeus explicitly states that he created the humans, a race which grew to dominate the earth and become independent from the Gods themselves.
Zeus was a complex individual. In the beginning he had a duplicitous streak, able to manipulate others around him for his own ends. In addition he was power hungry, as he was jealous of Hades' powers. He created the humans specifically so that they would feed his immortality.
With all of this power Zeus became haughty and ruthless. Open defiance from humans angered him, to the point where he would humiliate them or strike them with lightning bolts. His relationship with family members is fractious, whether through neglect or mistreatment. Zeus gains enemies in his brother and at least two of his sons. He also cheated on his wife Hera.
On a lighter note Zeus did have some compassion. He was reluctant to destroy the humans utterly, but still wanted them to be punished for their defiance. He also expressed a desire to protect Perseus, noting that he didn't want to lose his own son. After Perseus destroys the Kraken and stops Hades' rampage, Zeus' attitude towards humanity changes. In the war with Kronos, Zeus' actions to protect the human race shows that Zeus has grown to admire them. He also displays humility when he apologises to Hades and acknowledges his wrong doing.
Wrath of the Titans
Wrath of the Titans (Comic book)
- In the myths Zeus' power was absolute and never depended on human prayer. He never crossed Hades, as both Gods and mortals feared Hades. Zeus was friendly enough with his brother that Hades even called in a few favours.
- Zeus' main quarrels were actually with his wife Hera, who is not seen prominently in this version. In fact it was Hera who once lead an open rebellion against Zeus rather than Hades. The reason for this is that Hera was annoyed by Zeus constantly cheating on her.
- Zeus' name comes from Dios/Dias, which is descended from the Proto-Indo European word Dyeus-Pater (Sky Father). Dyeus means many things such as sky, day, bright or God. In modern languages, it is the origin of the word deity.
- This version of Zeus created the humans, while in the myths it was actually Prometheus who created them.