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Slayer of the Minotaur
Theseus is a legendary hero and demigod in Greek mythology, and son to the primordial god of the seas, Poseidon. Theseus is a hero of mythology, just as Perseus, Jason and the Argonauts and Heracles he fought beings that were first thought to be invincible or otherwise impossible to defeat without massive bloodshed, such as the Minotaur and a group of Centaurs.
The most notable portrayal of Theseus in popular culture is that of Henry Cavill on the 2011 film Immortals.
History and accounts
Early life and birth
The king Aegeus was one of the primordial kings of Athens, he was in search of a bride and found Aethra who was the daughter of king Pittheus. Both Aethra and her father resided at Troezen, a small city on the southwest of Athens. On their wedding night, Aethra sailed through the sea to the island of Sphairia, which is located close to the coast and subsequently lay there with Poseidon, the primordial god of the seas. Aethra had previously shared intimate moments with her husband Aegeus, leading to the event in which her son would have characteristics from both mortals and gods, which was a trait commonly shared by to-be Greek heroes. When Aethra became pregnant, her husband Aegeus returned to Athens. Her son, Theseus now had a combination of divine as well as mortal characteristics; such as double fathers.
Pirithoüs and the Centaurs
Pirithoüs, King of the Lapiths, heard of Theseus's reputation and wanted to see for himself if Theseus was indeed as brave and clever as people said. When Theseus was herding his cattle near Marathon, Pirithoüs made a raid on Theseus and his cattle. Theseus confronted Pirithoüs. However, Pirithoüs amazed by Theseus cunning abilities as a warrior and overcome with admiration for Theseus, surrendered and humbly told him that he would accept any punishment Theseus chose. But Theseus asked only for his friendship.
Sometime later, Pirithoüs invited Theseus to his wedding to Hippodamia. Among the many wedding guests were the Centaurs, neighbors of Pirithoüs. The Centaurs had the bodies of horses and the torsos and heads of men. Drunken, the Centaurs tried to kidnap all the women including Hippodamia. Theseus, aided by the Lapiths won the ensuing battle against the Centaurs.
In Popular Culture
- Theseus appears in The Last of the Amazons.
- Theseus appears in the episode Theseus and the Minotaur, from the televesion series The Storyteller.
- Theseus appears in 2011's epic-fantasy film Immortals, portrayed by Henry Cavill. In the film, he is the mortal chosen by Zeus to fight against the forces of evil, and the mighty champion who defeats the Minotaur.
- The Theseus from the 2011's film Immortals, appears again on the 100-pages graphic epic titled Immortals: Gods and Heroes. The graphic novel explains how Theseus was trained by Zeus and how he came to be such a cunning warrior.