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Forged Seating tells the tale of one of the most hard working gods of Olympus, a goddess who sat down and almost never got back up, an arranged marriage orchestrated to bring peace to Olympus, and one very unhappy bride.
A Complex Relationship
If you think Oedipus had a ‘complex’ relationship with his mother, imagine being cast out of your family home, away from all those you love for the simple fact that due to a physical disability and birth defect you were considered too ugly to live amongst your god like family.
If your name was Hephaestus, you’d know this story all to well. But while in the realm of the mortals he did not let his personal history get him down. He worked hard in his forge and his creations became revered by mortals and gods alike. His work became coveted by all.
Have a Seat, Mother
Fuelled by his popularity and skill (and some resentment that likely burned hotter than his forge), he decided to make his ableist mother a special gift that would appeal to her vanity. After all, how could such an important goddess resist a throne forged by the most talented artist of her time.
There was an unexpected surprise in addition to the throne Hephaestus made his mother. Hera would discover that once she sat upon the throne her son made her that she was unable to get up. Perhaps a fitting turn of events for a mother who rejected her son for being born with a birth defect.
Two Birds With One Stone
If you have read many of these stories, you will know that Hera and Zeus had a very complex relationship (insert link to other vase story here). It was more than likely that Zeus probably enjoyed an affair or two while Hera was trapped on her new throne. But eventually, he would need to find a solution to Hera’s sticky throne problem, if only to stop her complaining.
Zeus himself could not free Hera. So he needed to find a way to appease Hephaestus. But what could he offer a man who could make almost anything he wanted?
Meanwhile, As he pondered this problem . . .
The chaos of Olympus grew as a result of many of the gods fighting over the hand of the most beautiful goddess of Olympus, Aphrodite. Realizing that he could quell the chaos, free his wife and appease Hephaestus all by offering Aphrodite’s hand in marriage to our forgey friend, that’s exactly what he did.
This union would prove to bring misery to both the bride, who would be unfaithful to her vows and the groom, who would once again be consumed with vengeance. But for Zeus, this would keep Aphrodite in play, as one of the many women he would pursue.