While Lore Olympus is portrayed as a modern-day retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth, it lacks some of the darker elements of the ancient story.
The popular webcomic by Rachel Smythe, Lore Olympus, centers around a modernized Hades and Persephone. Between the Mortal Realm, the Underworld, and Olympus, Lore Olympus has built a world reminiscent of Greek Mythology in that it ties together key plot points and characters from ancient stories. However, the comic does not reflect everything that fans of ancient mythology may remember about the story of Hades and Persephone.
The story (currently available on WEBTOON) certainly has an updated view on the people and places of ancient mythology. The most notable changes can be seen in the retelling of the myth that inspires the story. While both stories of Hades and Persephone place them together as the God of the Dead and the Goddess of Spring, the Lore Olympus version has revamped their relationship, as well as the characters themselves.
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From the beginning of their relationship, the “forbidden love” element that defines Hades and Persephone has differed greatly between myth and comic. In Lore Olympus, aspects of their personal lives create an environment that makes it difficult to see each other. When the two meet, Hades has his attention on Minthe, a nymph from the Underworld that works as the secretary (and toxic soon-to-be ex-lover) of Hades. On Persephone’s end, the overbearing actions of her mother, Demeter, prove to get in their way.
However, the comic’s Romeo and Juliet vibes are nonexistent within the classic myth. In Greek Mythology, Hades kidnaps Persephone, infatuated by her beauty. He brings her to the Underworld to be his wife and rule alongside him. Demeter, more genuinely concerned than overbearing, begged to have her returned. In response, Hades persuaded Persephone to eat six seeds from a pomegranate he gave her. Those were to represent the months she would be in the Underworld, while she would return to Earth for the other six. Though the feeling of rebellious love weaves its way into both stories, the myth has a much darker undertone (plus, Lore Olympus writes out the whole part about Hades technically being Persephone’s uncle, which readers can be thankful for).
Overall, Lore Olympus brings a fun spin to an ancient story. Greek and Roman Mythology have become more relevant to pop culture over the past few years, setting the perfect stage for a mythologically-inspired webcomic to thrive. While there are some major differences between the myth and Smythe’s story, the characters still maintain some core identifiers and rule the same phenomenon as they do in their original stories. Though there are some problematic themes and occurrences in the comic (such as Apollo’s obsession with Persephone) that resemble traditional mythology, this modernized take tones it way down. When it comes to Hades and Persephone myth itself, Lore Olympus removes some of its darkness allowing for some more light-hearted and endearing moments for readers to enjoy.
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