A to Z Challenge Folklore

Warrior God: Ares #folklore #AtoZChallenge

W is for Warrior

I’m doing folklore and book review posts to reach and please a larger audience. Previous years have shown select interest in both and to minimise blogging throughout the year, I’m focusing my efforts on April.

If you’d rather check out my book review for today, go here.

Learn more about the challenge here.

I first took notice of Ares in Disney’s Hercules riding his chariot.


Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology edited by William Smith [1849]

ARES (Arês), the god of war and one of the great Olympian gods of the Greeks. He is represented as the son of Zeus and Hera. (Hom. Il. v. 893, &c.; Hes. Theog. 921; Apollod. i. 3. § 1.) A later tradition, according to which Hera conceived Ares by touching a certain flower, appears to be an imitation of the legend about the birth of Hephaestus, and is related by Ovid. (Fast. v. 255, &c.)

This fierce and gigantic, but withal handsome god loved and was beloved by Aphrodite: he interfered on her behalf with Zeus (v. 883), and lent her his war-chariot. (v. 363; comp. Aphrodite.) When Aphrodite loved Adonis, Ares in his jealousy metamorphosed himself into a bear, and killed his rival.

A Wizard’s Bestiary by Oberon Zell Ravenheart and Ash “LeopardDancer” DeKirk

The Greek list of Hippoi Athanatoi (“deathless horses”) could go on for pages.6 Though many of the gods had chariots drawn by their totem creatures—for example, Aphrodite’s shell-shaped chariot drawn by gigantic swans—most of the Olympians had their favorite horses, whether riding in a chariot or astride. Zeus, Hera, Ares, Nike, Demeter, Poseidon, and Hades all had chariots pulled by teams of mighty winged stallions, or mares fed on nectar and ambrosia, the elixir of immortality.

On the other hand, the divine coursers of Ares, the god of war, were the very archetypes of savage warhorses and needed no mere emperor’s declaration to confirm this. Born of the north wind, Boreas, and one of the Erinnyes (Furies), their names were: Aithon (“red fire”), Phlogeus (“flame”), Phobos (“panic”), and Konobos (“tumult”). They breathed fire, dried up rivers, and the Earth herself trembled beneath their hooves.

*More can be read in the book.

Further Reading:

Folklore in a Nutshell by Ronel

Ares is the Greek god of war. He encapsulates the brutal and physical aspects of war. It is established by Homer that he is the son of Zeus and Hera, but that the rest of the Olympians weren’t fond of him. In Sparta, prisoners of war were sacrificed to him, and in Enyalius they sacrificed dogs. And despite the temple he had in Athens, he wasn’t a popular god in ancient Greece. But his Roman counterpart, Mars, was held in a much more positive light and even as a chief god in the Roman pantheon.

Ares is usually depicted in ancient art as an armed warrior. He is always connected to Aphrodite – usually as her lover. The stories about them are usually how he gets humiliated by her husband Hephaestus – like when Ares and Aphrodite were caught naked in a fine net made by her husband and all the Olympians came to laugh at them. Their affair was no secret to the other Olympians. They even have children together: Deimos and Phobos (Terror and Panic) who go with him into battle, and Eros or Cupid, a god of love, according to later tales. Ares is supposedly the father of the Amazons, the most amazing warrior women of all time. He also sired many mortal children, most of whom were enemies to Hercules.

Ares is aggressive, has a quick temper and an unquenchable thirst for conflict. But because he has a clear sense of duty and honour – especially where it comes to his children and allies – he has enough redeeming qualities to make the other Olympians’ distaste for him seem like fear of his raw power and intensity instead.

Ares in Modern Culture

Percy Jackson book series by Rick Riordan

Ares is the Greek god of war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians, the son of Zeus and Hera, king and queen of the gods, and his Roman counterpart is Mars.

The Sea of Monsters

Ares is seen talking to his daughter Clarisse La Rue on the ironclad CSS Birmingham. He orders his daughter not to fail the quest (and threatens her to make her do it), and get Percy Jackson and his friends out of the way and to make him proud. For this reason, Clarisse refuses to let Percy, Annabeth, and Tyson go, but they all escape when the ironclad explodes.

Learn more here

Disney’s Hercules

Ares is the Olympian God of war and the founder of Sparta. He and his sister Athena have been enemies for centuries and he has done everything to try and destroy her precious city of Athens.

Ares possesses the standard powers of an Olympian god, including the sudden disappearance into the underground with a small explosion. As the god of war, Ares is a powerful fighter and a war strategist, although he can also conjure red or yellow energy blast being shot either from his bare hands or sword. As the god of war, he has authority over war itself.

Learn more here

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys TV series

Ares, the God of War, was a major character and villain on Hercules: The Legendary JourneysXena: Warrior Princess and Young Hercules. He is the Greek God of War and violence, who has a strong rivalry with his half-brother Hercules, and a love-hate relationship with Xena.

He took Xena under his wing as his protege, sometime after she first met with Caesar. He also gave her the Chakram, sometime after she left Chin and headed towards the Norselands. He continues to follow her throughout the series, tempting her back to her old ways, but eventually gives up and turns into more of a hinderance than an enemy because he falls in love with her.

Ares’ relationship with Hercules is fueled by jealousy because Zeus, their father, has always favored and liked him over Ares and his siblings, thus; Ares is motivated to constantly try to destroy his Demi-God half brother.

Learn more here

Ares in My Writing

Origin of the Fae: Ares

Ares is the Greek god of war. He isn’t fond of the tedious battle strategy games his sister Athena enjoys, but he isn’t blind to the benefits of strategy instead of rushing in blindly either. He enjoys going to dive bars – especially the kind with live music with angry vibes. Whenever he is near mortals, they cannot help but be influenced by the violence radiating from him. He dresses in leather and rides on a motorcycle, preferring the mortal realm to anything crowded by immortals. Ares broke off his affair with Aphrodite a while back when he realised that she was never going to divorce Hephaestus, be true to him, or care about anything but herself.

See him in action:

Origin of Irascible Immortals (Origin of the Fae #7)

What do you think of Ares? Where did you hear about Ares for the first time? Any folklore about Ares you’d like to share? Check out my Pinterest board dedicated to the subject.

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image credit https://pixabay.com/illustrations/ai-generated-fairy-wings-magic-8121013/

No-one writes about the fae like Ronel Janse van Vuuren.

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