Greek tragedy and inter-familial godly drama is back on the map thanks to the popularity and critical acclaim of Netflix’s newest anime, Blood of Zeus. It’s a classic tale told with a new spin: a Greek hero who is unsurprisingly an illegitimate child of Zeus who must then become a hero in the most disadvantageous of circumstances.
Such a formula has been largely successful and has had many adaptations in the past and present. Blood of Zeus only reinforced just how effective this trope can be again. Of course, viewers would likely be left wanting more of ancient mythological gods and their misbegotten sons (or daughters); sadly there aren’t many media like Blood of Zeus save for films that explore similar aspects of mythological heroism like these.
10 Clash of the Titans (1981/2010)
Greek mythology fans can’t go wrong with either the 1981 claymation marvel from Ray Harryhausen or the 2010 remake. The former is more preferred for those who are critical of what they watch. Either way, both films explore the journey of none other than Perseus.
Those who have read the story will surely be delighted to see all their imagination in action, especially with the 1981 version. It’s Perseus and Andromeda’s plight as Zeus’ proxy against his war with Hades. Along the way, Perseus fights the standard Greek myth monsters such as Medusa and even has his own pegasus.
9 Wrath Of The Titans (2012)
Warth of the Titans is the sequel to the 2010 remake, Clash of the Titans. It’s still a CGI green-screen fest that’s more action than adventure but the consensus is that it’s more decent than its predecessor. This time around, it’s still Hades waging war against his brother Zeus though Ares also has a hand in the betrayal.
Hence, Zeus has to disturb his mortal son, Perseus once again to set things straight. That involves going to war personally against Hades and Ares’ forces in order to restore Zeus back to the throne and prevent a mass breakout of Titans once more thanks to Hades’ machinations.
8 The Legend of Hercules (2014)
Perhaps the films closest to Heron’s struggle in Netflix’s Blood of Zeus would be that of a similar demigod’s namely, Hercules. He’s arguably the most popular lovechild of Zeus and out of all the Greek myth figures, he has the most films. Case in point is The Legend of Hercules which was released in the same year as Dwayne Johnson’s own Hercules movie.
This one details a part of Hercules’ chronicles where he was exiled and sold into slavery due to a forbidden love between him and a princess promised to another. The person who did this to him was none other than his stepfather, the King. So that makes it a revenge tale on top of being a “save the princess” film.
7 Hercules (2014)
Some fans might prefer this one to The Legend of Hercules especially since it features one of the highest-billed actors in Hollywood, Dwayne Johnson. In any case, it’s a more faithful retelling of Hercules’ life since it involves more mysticism than the other film.
This time around, the film focuses on Hercules’ mercenary life after his fame had already been reinforced. It’s a more jaded and rough take on Hercules’ persona, featuring him as a callous and even hardened hero compared to the usual untested self in most films.
6 Hercules (1997)
Speaking of a fresh Hercules, not many representations can beat Disney’s own iteration back in 1997. Hercules from Disney holds a special place in many adult’s hearts these days thanks to the inspiring soundtrack and a rather unforgettable training montage that makes it seem like getting physically fit is too achievable.
Hercules 1997’s plot is more like Clash of the Titans‘ where Hades (again) is plotting to overtake Zeus in Olympus. He does this by pestering the mortals and unleashing the Titans upon Olympus– something that only Hercules can fix.
5 Gods of Egypt (2016)
It doesn’t exactly contain a god’s bastard son out to make a name for himself nor any Greek myth gods at all, but Gods of Egypt should provide a close viewing experience. If viewers are after godly politics and familial bickering that may or may not be lethal, then the Egyptian mythology gods are no stranger to that.
Gods of Egypt has a comparable tale to that of most films about Greek mythology anyway. Set/Seth, the god most things bad in Ancient Egypt set out to take over the kingdom and plunge it into darkness and chaos. One concerned mortal teamed up with Horus in order to rescue his loved one and to bring peace back to Egypt.
4 Aquaman (2018)
Wonder Woman would be the more obvious choice since it literally happens because of Ares and Zeus but for the “bastard son claiming his birthright” trope, Aquaman would be a better fit. It takes place in a setting inspired by Greek mythology anyway, which is Atlantis.
Regardless, the setting doesn’t matter much, as Aquaman’s (Arthur Curry) voyage is close to that of Heron’s journey. Much like in Blood of Zeus Aquaman must also fight his own brother in order to save his parents’ kingdom in what’s also a chaotic final battle where the fate of the world hangs on the competitor’s clutch moves.
3 Jason And The Argonauts (1963)
Straight out of the pages of Greek mythology books comes Jason and the Argonauts— a 1963 classic. It’s a straight-up adaptation of Jason’s quest to find the Golden Fleece. The Golden Fleece serves as one of the earliest McGuffin items in literature– something that holds no inherent value but is still crucial to the plot.
The Golden Fleece, in this case, is the ultimate symbol of rulership and authority in Greek mythology. Jason needs it in order to rightfully own the throne of Iolcus in Thessaly. The twist is that it was Jason’s uncle, Pelias who compelled him to seek out the fleece but was actually hoping that Jason would die finding it. Of course, Jason’s trusty Argonauts are there to prevent that from happening to the Greek hero.
2 Beowulf (2007)
Beowulf is based on one of the oldest English literature available and details the story of the Geat hero who came to the aid of the Danes against a horrid monster named Grendel. The movie adaptation is pretty much an act-for-act recreation of the poems which follows Beowulf’s venture from Warband mercenary to King and eventually his downfall.
The movie, however, puts its own twist akin to a Greek tragedy where Beowulf pretty much became the engineer of his own destruction with the theme of fathers leaving behind sins for their sons to bear. Viewers will find plenty of likenesses as Norse mythology is not too far off from Greek.
1 Immortals (2011)
It might be a wannabe 300 and it even aped the action sequences, but Immortals is one of the more respectable films about Greek myth heroes. This time around, Theseus gets the spotlight and the film’s narrative is based on the same literature which culminated in his founding of Athens.
That includes fighting a minotaur, which is one of the highlights of Theseus’ journey. Some Hollywood twists include a jerk releasing Titans again in order to topple over Olympus and Theseus somewhat saving all of them. It’s by far the most similar story to Blood of Zeus.
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