The Greek God Hephaestus is often considered a minor God in Greek Mythology, but that is far from the truth as Percy Jackson fans will know! Here’s more about him.
The ancient Greek god of fire, blacksmiths, metalworking, stone masonry, forges, carpenters and volcanoes, Hephaestus is one of the Olympian Gods. His mother was Hera, and Greek mythology is unclear whether Zeus was his father, or whether he did not have a father at all.
According to some Greek mythology, Hephaestus was cast out from heaven by his mother due to being crippled. The popular image of him is being lame in some way.
Depicted as a middle aged man with beard, short sleeveless tunic and a round close-fitting cap, Hephaestus is credited with having created the Gods fabulous equipment, weapons and armour. He is also believed to have invented the first machines and automatons.
(Image By Anthony van Dyck – Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Bilddatenbank., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5266342)
What powers and skills does he have?
Greek myths and poetry claim that Hephaestus had the power to produce motion in statues and objects. At the entrance of the Alkinoos palace, he made lions and dogs of gold and silver which could bite invaders.
Another power Hephaestus had was fire because he was known as the god of fire or god of Volcanoes. He had the special ability to withstand any kind of heat and could never get burned. It is said he could turn into fire at any moment.
However, his main power is believed to be as a blacksmith. which was his regular job and worked with his hands. His workshops were often considered to be volcanoes, and he created weapons and equipment for the Gods of Olympus.
The Children of Hephaestus
Hephaestus’ consort was Aphrodite according to most versions recounted in Greek mythology. Sadly for Hephaestus, Aphrodite was known to be unfaithful with other gods and mortals including the Ares, god of war. Hephaestus and Aphrodite had no children together.
Like many of the other Gods, Hephaestus was hardly the loyal monogamous type either! He had many children with other consorts, some Goddesses or nymphs, and others unknown (possibly humans).
One story about Hephaestus, is that he tried to rape Athena, Athens’s city patron goddess. He ejaculated on her thigh after she pushed him away. Athena wiped the semen using tough wool and tossed it into the dust which impregnated Gaia. Gaia then gave birth to Erichthonius.
Some of the children of Hephaestus include:
Hephaestus in the Percy Jackson books
In the book The Lightning Thief, Hephaestus makes a trap intended to catch Ares and Aphrodite. The trap instead catches Percy and Anabeth after they noticed his symbol Eta. They were trying to get Ares’ shield which Percy retrieves and collects Aphrodite’s scarf.
In the Titan’s curse, Hephaestus’ wife Aphrodite, warns Percy to be careful with Hephaestus’ junkyard. One automaton attacks the group of hunters and campers going through the junkyard because Bianca di Angelo had picked up a Hades’s statue. They attempt to fight off the automaton but it is too powerful. Bianca eventually dies, and her younger brother Nico blames her death on Percy.
In the Battle of the Labyrinth, he sends Percy and friends on a “mission” to Mount Saint Helens to discover who is using his favourite forge. He also sets out to retrieve Percy, who was trapped for weeks in Calypso’s island. Hephaestus plays another role when he gives him a hint on navigating the maze which demigods and monsters couldn’t.
In the Last Olympian, Hephaestus was in the fight pitting the gods against Typhon. After being hit by Typhon, he was thrown from the battle so hard that he created a new lake in West Virginia.
Famous temples in Greece dedicated to Hephaestus
The most famous temple dedicated to the God Hephaestus in Greece, is the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens. Located within the Ancient Agora archaeological complex in the historic centre of Athens, it is one of the best preserved temples in Greece.
Many people choose to visit the Ancient Agora of Athens independently, and you should allow between 2 and 3 hours to do so. If you are interested in a private tour of the Agora, contact our team today, and we can organise a family friendly guide to accompany you.
Whilst spending time in Athens, you may also be interested in our Percy Jackson Tours specifically designed for families.