In Greek mythology, many of the Gods have both positive and negative traits. This was to make them somewhat relatable to the normal Greek 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.
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 Greek Gods and Goddesses
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.
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.
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.
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!