Zeus had many children due to his adulterous ways, but surely he must have a favorite among them. Could it be the legendary Hercules who carried his name all over the world with his famous 12 labors? Or could it be the beautiful Aphrodite who mesmerizes everyone that lays eyes on her? Well…
Athena, the Goddess of War and Wisdom, was Zeus’ first and most favored child. She was born out of his head after he consummated with the Titanness, Metis, and was the wisest out of all his children. Zeus loved her blindly and never even bat an eye at what she does.
There is no other child that Zeus adores more than Athena. She was his first child born by his first and favorite wife, Metis, and the other Gods hated just how favored Athena was in Zeus’ eyes. Who exactly is the Goddess of Wisdom, Athena?
Who Is Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom?
The first and most favored child of Zeus, Athena was a result of his first marriage to the Titanness Metis, who helped him overthrow his father, Cronus, by forcing him to throw up Zeus’ siblings.
When Athena was conceived by Metis, Zeus was reminded of a prophecy that he would be overthrown by a son born to her. This made Zeus swallow Metis due to his fears, but Athena was still born out of his head, fully grown and crying for war.
Instead of resenting her for being powerful, Athena immediately became Zeus’ favorite child, granting her a seat among the 12 Olympians later on as the Goddess of War and Wisdom. This confused some as Ares was also a God of War but Athena was primarily the Goddess of Wisdom.
She was different when compared to her brother Ares as they view war and fighting in both extremes of the spectrum. Ares was hungry for nothing but blood and wanted the world to bathe in the blood of war, blindly going into battle and causing a frenzy to all that worshipped him.
On the other hand, Athena was more level-headed and focused more on strategy and the science of war. Though Ares was the primary God of War among the Olympians, the Goddess of Victory, Nike, accompanied Athena instead of him.
This created a bitter rivalry among the siblings where they would eventually end up on different sides of the Trojan war. Ares would fight for the Trojans while Athena would stick to her roots and fight for the Greeks.
In the grand battle where Ares would face off Diomedes, a herald of Athena and King of Anatolia, Athena would use Hades’ Helmet of Darkness to distract Ares while Diomedes landed a heavy wound to the God which forced Ares to flee.
How Favoured Is Athena By Zeus?
Zeus favored Athena a lot. In fact, he favored her so much that the other Gods felt a sense of resentment towards Athena simply because of how easy it was for her to get away from things that the other Gods would be punished for.
The best way to describe it is from Ares, the God of War himself, who shared the title with the Goddess. When Ares was wounded by Athena in the Trojan War, Athena was basically left off the hook without any repercussions for her actions.
Though Zeus didn’t love Ares, he was still the King of the Gods and had to maintain order among the Gods. Harming a God, regardless of who and what, is a very big issue among the Olympians and usually Zeus is the only one with the authority to do so.
Ares complained that Athena’s deeds were brushed aside even though he would have died if not for the fact that he dodged the worst part of Diomedes’ attack. If anyone else tried to do the same thing, they would have been smitten by the God of Thunder.
Zeus had powerful weapons in his arsenal that would make even the Gods fear him. They are so powerful that they can turn the tides of battles and harm divine beings such as Gods and Titans.
He would easily share the usage of these weapons with Athena. Athena would often be the shield-bearer for Zeus, bringing his Aegis into battle as if it was her own.
It was said to be so powerful that not only could it block off any attack, but it could reproduce the roars of a million dragons which would hurt even the Gods. It was believed that the reason why Athena was favored by Zeus was due to her sense of justice.
Athena’s Attempt to Overthrow Zeus
Knowing that Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, was the favored child of Zeus, it must seem weird to know that she has tried to overthrow Zeus before.
The Goddess of Wisdom once plotted with the God of the Sea, Poseidon, and the Queen of the Gods, Hera, to overthrow Zeus and take his throne as the King of the Gods. Their plan was to chain the God at night, while he slumbered away.
This plan was overheard by Thetis, Achilles’ mother, who tried to stop them but knew she was powerless against the Gods. Instead, she called upon the Hecatoncheries, Briareos, to protect Zeus in his sleep.
To dissuade the Olympians from doing anything, Briareos simply sat beside Zeus while he slept. His presence alone was enough to prevent the Olympians from doing anything as a Hecatoncheries’ strength was known to be immense.
The main reason why Athena wanted to overthrow Zeus was because of how he treated her mother, Metis. Zeus claimed to love Metis, his first wife, the most out of all his lovers but he didn’t hesitate to kill her to protect himself.
Zeus turned Metis into a fly and devoured her due to his fear of being overthrown by a son born to her which was foretold in a prophecy. Fortunately, Athena was able to be born despite the fact that her mother was consumed by the God.
To Athena, it was a cruel act as her mother never intentionally put Zeus in harm’s way and was nothing but a bystander. There was also the fact that Zeus was very bossy and patronizing to the other Gods.
Since he was the most powerful being in the world, he never skipped on a chance to show his superiority to other Gods simply because they can’t fight back. Other than that, Athena was portrayed to have a relatively good relationship with Zeus. She has always stayed faithful and modest to the King of the Gods.
Athena was no doubt the most favored child among all of Zeus’ many children. She was conceived as his first child by his first wife, Metis, and was immediately his most favorite one to date.
He favors her so much that he turns a blind eye to most of what she does, including harming her fellow God and brother, Ares, the God of War. Zeus also shared his powerful arsenal with his favorite child if the need ever arises.
Though Athena was favored by Zeus, she has tried to overthrow her father before with his uncle and aunt, Poseidon and Hera.
This plot was foiled due to the intervention of the mortal, Thetis. With that said, she has stayed ever so faithful for the most part to Zeus as his most favorite child.