In Greek mythology, many of the Gods have both positive and negative traits. This was to make them somewhat relatable to the normal Greek person who themselves was fallible.
However, there are some Gods and Goddesses whose evil side can very often get the better of them. This side to their personality can be evil, dangerous and incredibly destructive and goes well beyond normal behaviour.
And there are many gods who have less than a stellar record in Greek myth. Their evil attempts to wreak havoc were usually petty and always extreme. Some of the gods that find themselves on this list aren’t always viewed as evil, but they all have their own nasty qualities that land them here.
What follows is a list of the most evil and dangerous Greek Gods and Goddesses. Some of the choices might surprise you, but we feel they deserve their place!
The Most Evil and Dangerous Gods and Goddesses in Greek Mythology
Cronus was the son of Uranus, God of the Sky, and Gaia, Goddess of the Earth. He was the King of the Titans in the era prior to the reign of the Olympians and ruled with an iron fist. He had 5 brothers and 6 sisters, one of who, Rhea, he married. He was the Titan God of time, and in particular destructive time.
He had a disloyal personality, often betraying those who had once helped him. He was unforgiving and took pleasure in the act of vengeance.
Cronus, along with his 4 brothers overthrew their father Uranus. Uranus had imprisoned some other brothers of Cronus, the 100-handed giants and the 1-eyed giants. This angered both Cronus and their mother Gaia. Together they decided to overthrow Uranus. The four brothers held down Uranus, the sky God, each holding down one corner. The four brothers represented North, South, East and West. Cronus then, using a particularly gruesome means of dispatch, a sickle, castrated Uranus.
As King of the Titans, Cronus wasn’t much better of a ruler than his father. He imprisoned both the giants again and later he even imprisoned his co-conspirator brothers. Also, upon hearing a prophecy that he was going to overthrown by one of his own children, he took to eating his children every time his wife gave birth. Quite a terrible character.
Apate was the daughter of Erebos, the God of Darkness, and Nyx, the Goddess of Night. An ominous lineage if ever there was one. She had a number of siblings including Moros, who represented doom, Nemesis, representing retribution, and the Keres, representing violent death. She was the Goddess of deceit, deception, guile and fraud, not someone to bump into in the street.
She was cunning and deceitful and could twist any situation to work in her interest. She could also be very cruel and would take great pleasure in destroying people’s lives.
One of the most famous myths with Apate involves Zeus, Hera and Semele. Zeus had had an affair behind Hera’s back, as he often would, with Semele. As revenge Hera told Apate to convince Semele to ask Zeus to show her his true form. Unknown to both Semele and Zeus, the sight would kill Semele. As such Semele was burnt up by the sight of Zeus.
Apate along with many of her siblings were also said to be the evil spirits that escaped from Pandora’s box, she is one of the more obvious choices for this list.
Eris was the daughter of Zeus and Hera and the twin sister of Ares, the God of War. She was the Goddess of Conflict, Strife, Discord and Contention. Not the best of combinations.
She would haunt the battlefield and took great delight in the act of war. She and Ares would often ride together, crying with glee at the terrible sight of war. She was often involved in all types of conflict, family arguments, blood feuds and wars over territory. She was despised by many of the other gods and they often wouldn’t choose to interact much with her.
Probably the most famous myth involving Eris is that of the Judgement of Paris. Because she was so disliked by the other Gods she was not invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. She turned up anyway and was refused entrance. As revenge she threw an apple amongst the goddesses with the words to the fairest written upon it.
The Olympians, being the egotists that they were, all thought the apple was for them. After much disagreement, the Prince of Troy, Paris was given the task of deciding on who was the fairest. He chose Aphrodite and as a reward she caused Helen of Sparta to fall in love with him. Thus were laid the basic conditions for the start of the Trojan War. Probably the most deadly war in Greek mythology. All thanks to Eris.
Zeus was the son of Cronus and Rhea. He was the King of the Olympian Gods and God of the Sky. He had a number of children including Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Heracles, and Dionysus.
In many of the myths he is portrayed as being benevolent, wise and just however he also had a vengeful, vindictive side to him. This temper of his could cause natural disasters on earth and he was also in the habit of throwing lighting bolts at random at characters walking around below. He was also often unfaithful to his wife Hera and had a number of children by these mistresses. These women very often ended up wronged in some fashion by the God or sometimes they even died, by his hand or by that of his wife.
There are many stories about this evil side to Zeus, a particularly cruel one involves Prometheus. The Titan God Prometheus had sided with Zeus in the Titanomachy and was seen as one of Zeus’ closest advisers. He was tasked with creating the first men and behind the back of Zeus he gifted them fire to help them survive. As revenge for the betrayal, Zeus had Prometheus tied to a mountain and each day a great eagle would peck out his liver. If that’s not evil and twisted, i’m not sure what is.
Zeus, much like his father Cronus, had received a prophecy that if his wife, Metis, had a son then this son would kill Zeus. When Metis became pregnant he decided he didn’t want to wait to find out if the prophecy was true, so he just ate her. She did however survive inside Zeus and weirdly his head was cracked open and out sprung Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom.
Another telling tale, when the first generation of men on the earth turned out to be too wicked for Zeus, he decided to have them all killed. He unleashed upon the world a great flood and all but two perished. So add mass genocide to his list of crimes.
5. Deimos and Phobos
Deimos and Phobos were the sons of the Ares and Aphrodite. Phobos was the God of Fear and Terror while his brother Deimos was the God of Panic. The two brothers were said to often accompany Ares into battle. They were also very often joined by Ares’ sister Eris. The names of both Deimos and Phobos were feared and respected by soldiers across the battlefields of Greece.
The two brothers had particularly cruel personalities, truly revelling in the slaughter and destruction wrought by the often warring armies of Greece and the surrounding areas.
Phobos was often worshipped by many of the Greeks before great battles. The hope being that the opponents would flee the battlefield in fear. It was said that Alexander the Great prayed to Phobos before a great battle. The imagery of Phobos was also used on the shields of both Heracles and Agamemnon.
Hera was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea and the wife of Zeus. She was the Queen of the gods and supposed to be concerned with the family and childbirth. However, there are so many tales of Hera committing some jealous act of revenge. Her husband Zeus was always having affairs and while she did argue with Zeus about this, she more often took her anger out on the women or the children of these women.
There are so many stories it would be impossible to recount them all here, but just to give you an idea. There was the famed beauty Lo who Zeus was fond of, Hera turned her into a cow. When Paris chose Aphrodite instead of Hera as the fairest goddess, Hera dedicated all her energy to the fall of his city, Troy. Hera suspected Zeus was unfaithful with a nymph called Echo, she cursed Echo to only be able to speak the last words that were spoken to her.
And yet, probably the greatest stories are those of her vendetta against Heracles, the son of Zeus and Alcmene. When Hera heard that Zeus had had a son, she sent two snakes to strangle him in his bed. Heracles being a demigod, killed the snakes. Later, when Heracles was married with children, she caused Heracles to go mad and kill his own wife and children. When Heracles was attempting to complete the 12 labours she went out of her way to cause him so many problems. Pretty vindictive you might say.
Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera. He was also the God of War. He never took a wife, but he did cause Aphrodite to have an affair with him.
He was seen as arrogant and violent and generally disliked by both the gods and humans. Very few worshipped him. He was a bloody minded character obsessed with killing, murder and slaughter. He had four horses name Terror, Fire, Flame, and Trouble. He was depicted as a strong warrior and also terrifying for his love of bloodshed.
He fought on the side of Trojans during the Trojan War and revelled in the death an destruction caused. He was also a jealous God, and when Aphrodite took the character Adonis as her lover, Ares transformed into a wild boar and gored him to death.
Hades was the son of Cronus and Rhea. He was the ruler of the underworld and king of the dead. He was married to Persephone and commanded the Harpies, a troupe of flying monsters who punished mankind. He was a cold and grim God who kept his distance from the other Gods.
He had a deep and calculating rage and was often very jealous at the other Olympian Gods. His kingdom was named Tartarus and the entrance was guarded by the three headed dog Cerberus, a fearsome beast. Once the dead entered his realm they could not leave. He valued death, he loved the sound of mourning and he would drink the tears of the bereaved. On the rare occasions tat he left Tartarus he would ride a chariot led by 4 black horses.
The most famous myth is when he abducted Persephone to be his wife. Persephone was the daughter of Demeter and Zeus. One day she went missing and in her grief her mother Demeter caused famine across the land. Zeus eventually discovered her location and negotiated her release, but only for half of the year, hence the seasons of the earth.
Very few made it into the underworld and returned, the only real success story is that of Heracles and the rescue of Theseus. The underworld was feared by all of mankind and Hades was seen as one of the more evil and dangerous Gods to encounter.
Hecate was a goddess that ruled mainly over spells and magic, essentially, witchcraft. She was also the goddess of the moon so her power usually resided in the night hours. She represented the unknown, something inherently scary and evil to mankind with the amount of bad possibilities that could come out of it.
Hecate gathered a cult like following all the way into Roman era mythology as well which did not bode well for her. She is known widely in witchcraft circles and still worshiped by practitioners to this day. Though she was capable of both good and evil, her lasting impact has been a negative one.
The overwhelming association with night time and witchcraft only containing “evil” and “bad” things earned Hecate her brand as evil not-so-accurate branding. Did her reputation precede her? Not really. Throughout ancient Greek literature Hecate is referred to as a protective and generally good goddess. She even helped Persophone when she saw Hades steal her.
Enyo was the Greek goddess of war and destruction. She was often seen by Ares, some accounts claim they are brother and sister while others claim they were companions. She is one of the gods depicted on Ares’s shield.
Wherever Enyo went she left a path of destruction behind her, destroying cities and causing general terror throughout the land. During the fall of Troy she was alongside Ares, Eris, Phobos, and Deimos inflicting terror and causing bloodshed. Other notable wars Enyo was involved in are the war of Seven Against Thebes and Dionysus’s war.
Enyo loves war more than Ares arguably. When Zeus fought the titan Typhon, she refused to pick a side so that she could watch the battle play out.
Moros is the personification of dreadful doom and is generally known as a hateful spirit. He spent his time driving humans to their untimely, and usually unpleasant, demise. Some accounts say that Moros had the power to let humans see when (sort of) and how they would meet their end.
Moros’s mother is Nyx, who is said to have had him by herself, while other accounts say that Erebus is Moros’s father. Regardless of whether he had a father or not doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, his brothers all come from Nyx.
Moros was brother to the fates (Moirai), Thanatos, and Keres, both of whom represent death in their own way. Moros as a representative for doom was not known for easy deaths that he could provide, rather most he presided over were violent and painful.
Pan was a Greek deity for fertility, usually depicted as half man half beast. The beast part has changed throughout time, but the most common mixture is half man, half faun. Pan is said to have been conceived in an orgy between Odysseus’s wife, Penelope, Hermes, and all of her suitors.
Hermes is credited as Pan’s father. Pan’s notorious pipe came with a dark backstory. Pan lusted after a wood nymph named Syrinx who ran away from his advances. Syrinx’s sisters turned her into a reed by a river to help protect her. Pan knew that she had been transformed but didn’t know which reed she was. So, he cut a bunch of the reeds into all different pieces and tied them together creating the pan flute.
He was rarely seen without the instrument after that moment. In another moment with a nymph named Echo that he lusted after, Pan sent his followers to tear her apart. Why? She had the audacity to scorn all men and Pan was not about to let that happen on his watch.
Antaeus was one of the giants that Poseidon fathered. Antaeus goaded people who were traveling in the country to wrestle him. The country being referred to is believed to be modern day Lybia.
Wrestling Antaeus was an unfair match to any regular person. His mother was Gaea, so anytime Antaeus touched the ground or earth, all his strength was restored and he fought/wrestled like it just started again. Touching the earth made him invincible. His opponents often found their untimely demise when coming across him in their travels.
Heracles figured this out during a battle and lifted him off the ground and crushed him to death with a hug in order to win. If it weren’t for this hero stopping Antaeus he would have continued his little game of death forever.
14. The Erinyes
The Erinyes also known as the Furies were female deities of vengeance and chaos. The Iliad refers to them as “the Erinyes, that under earth take vengeance on men, whosoever hath sworn a false oath.”
The Erinyes come from the blood that fell onto land after Uranus was castrated by his son, Cronus. They live in Erebus and predate the olympic gods. These ancient beings spend their time hearing the complaints of others and punishing the people being complained about harshly.
These sisters are Crones, wise old women, who had freakish appearances. They were described as having black bodies with bat wings and snakes for hair.
The Erinyes consisted of:
- Alteco — the wrathful one
- Megaera — the fierce one
- Tisiphone — the avenger
Despite his popularity, Poseidon, olympic god of the sea was generally bad tempered and known to be pretty vengeful. If he felt insulted by someone or something, the consequences were dire. Poseidon isn’t outright cruel, but he does have a pretty bad chip on his shoulder. He lets his ego get the best of him and struggles with uncontrollable anger.
This has pit him against other gods many times. Poseidon struggled with his jealousy of Zeus, he put himself into a battle of always doing everything better. When Zeus took the heavens as his domain Poseidon thought it was unfair. When Zeus took Hera as his wife, Poseidon started problems claiming he had a right to her as well. And so it kept going, causing constant problems and being a hassle to deal with.
His problems didn’t stop with Zeus, they extended to all the gods. When Poseidon lost a contest for the city of Athens against Athena he spent the rest of it’s existence working with armies that tried to take the city. Poseidon is evil in the sense that he is an egotistical mess that takes the people around down with him.
Phobeter was part of the Oneiroi as the personification of dreaming. Nightmares were his specialty and he would often find himself in dreams as animals or monsters. Phoboter is unique because there is no true physical form that has been reported on him.
When he’s in nightmares he’s constantly transforming into different creatures to scare his unfortunate victims. This makes it hard to pinpoint what he actually looks like because nobody has seen him. He even has a method to his madness, albeit pretty straight forward.
When he shows up in dreams as an animal it is to try to make the person relax or calm down, but when he appears as a monster its meant to terrorized to victim.
Atë was the goddess of mischief, ruin, and delusion. She could influence both god and human to make rash decisions and actions that would cause harm. This comes as no surprise with her father being Eris, one of the most evil gods.
In one instance Atë visited Dionysus and the boy he liked, Ampelus. Atë knew this and encouraged Ampelus to ride a bull in order to impress Dionysus. Ampelus fell for the trick and soon after fell off the bull breaking his neck. When Atë helped Hera change the birth order of her children Zeus became enraged.
He grabbed Atë by the hair and threw her down to earth, forbidding her from ever returning to Mount Olympus. From then on she wandered the earth walking on men’s heads rather than the ground wreaking havoc.
Last but certainly not least is Athena, goddess of wisdom and the evil side of battle. She was the patron god of Athens and did all she could to protect her Atheniens at the cost of their opponents. That in and of itself is more nationalistic than anything, but when it came to what she asked her people to do for her it becomes a little less noble.
The Atheniens would sacrifice obscene amounts of animals in honor of her, even to the detriment of themselves at times. Athena would not hesitate to sacrifice someone in order for her mission to be furthered. Since she followed no mortal scale of morality these deaths could be seen as senseless and cruel at times.
Athena has appeared in many myths throughout the religion where she curses one or more people as a punishment for their wrong doing. However, like Poseidon, she’s vain, gets jealous easy, and goes to extremes with her punishments.
So there you have it. The most evil and dangerous greek gods and goddesses. Having read the list you may think some of the characters don’t deserve to be on the list.
My advice to you is, don’t take this article too seriously. Feel free to comment below. Thanks!