The Aloadae

The troublemaker Giants

Every neighborhood has THOSE kids, the ones that always seem to get into trouble, teach other kids bad behavior, swear a lot, steal stuff and simply act like hooligans most of the time. You know the ones. In the neighborhood of ancient Greece, things were no different; there were two twins who filled that role quite effectively and who gave the gods up on Mount Olympus a sizable headache...especially Hera.

These giant-sized, rambunctious, rather dim-headed chucklehead twins were called the ALOADAE (ah-low-ah-day), and by the time they were done with their bungling shenanigans, they had shaken up things quite a bit.

The Aloadae were both giants, brothers named Ephialtes and Otus, and were sons of Poseidon, the god of the sea and a regular human girl by the name of Iphimedia. They originally started off as regular sized kids, but each year grew a "fathom" (roughly 6 feet!) and by the time they were nine, they each stood about 54 feet tall!

Even by nine, they were known to be aggressive, strong and relatively unable to think plans through before making them happen. At age nine, they decided to pull of their greatest stunt ever; climb and storm Mount Olympus to steal both Artemis and Athena to be their brides. (at age 9? It's Greek mythology, so don't try to work that one out...).

If you know anything about either of those goddesses, you know that neither one of them is going to stand by while two overgrown galoots try and make off (and make out?) with them. Yet the brothers had this crazy idea that they were bigger and stronger than the gods. Kids...

To get up to Mount Olympus, where only the gods could hang out, the Alodae devised a simple plan. They ripped two other mountains straight out of the ground, stacked them up on top of each other and climbed up alongside Mount Olympus. No problems at all! Climb up, jump over and before you could say "Eros," love was just a short ways away for the gigantic goof-offs!

However, Ephialtes and Otus quickly forgot about the two lovely-yet-butt-kicking-goddesses when they saw an even better target for their trouble-making; there, unattended on the balcony of Hera's personal palace, was the infant god Ares, rattling around in his cradle.

His mother nor his father, Zeus, were anywhere in sight. Little light-bulbs came on in their giant noggins: they could take the baby, hide him somewhere and watch the craziness go down as the gods went frantically looking for him! Without another single thought, the oafish brothers snatched Ares out his crib, stuffed him into a huge bronze urn (like a big vase), and shimmied back down to earth, where they hid with their prize to wait for the fireworks to happen.

The plan (which was not well thought out, as the gods would NEVER give up until one of their own was found) was to keep Ares trapped in the urn forever, as a prize to show that they had bested even the gods of Olympus. Weirdly, Zeus paid little attention. Hera, on the other hand, shaking with rage, lost her mind and vowed revenge through death of the individuals responsible (leave it to Hera to keep a cool head in a time of crisis, sarcastically speaking!)

In the end, it was Hermes who rose to the occasion, following clues and playing the undercover cop to find the young god of war. He was tipped off by the Alodae's stepmom, Eriboea, who knew what a pain in the rump the twin giants could be, and wanted them knocked down a couple of pegs and taught a lesson. With that info in hand, Hermes tracked Ephialtes and Otus down to their hiding spot, a cave deep within the forests.

Artemis, one of the original targets of the giants' affections, went along with him to trick them into giving up Ares. She promised the giant brothers that she would marry BOTH of them in exchange for the baby-god, who they hurriedly handed over at the shot of getting to smooch with the goddess of the hunt! But the joke was on them; once Hermes had the bronze urn and had taken off with Ares back to Hera, Artemis transformed into a doe (female deer) and took off running through the forest.

Ephialtes and Otus began arguing with each other as they ran after her; who was actually going to marry her once they caught her? They couldn't BOTH be married to Artemis! The argument turned into an all out fight, and in their heated rage, the brothers forgot all about Artemis. Shouting all kinds of foul four-letter words at each other, the twins both lobbed spears at one another at the same time and wound up killing themselves dead. Artemis, seeing that her trick had worked like a charm, transformed back into regular self, shook her head at the clueless, now-dead, hormonal giant twins, and made her way back to Olympus to celebrate the return of Ares to Hera.

In the aftermath, even Poseidon had to be embarrassed by the behavior of his two goof-headed twin giant sons and decided that getting even for their death wasn't honorable; maybe he realized that he should have spent a little more time teaching them a little right versus wrong! It just goes to show that being the neighborhood troublemakers may not be the best gig in the world.

Sooner or later, you might just bite off more than you can chew and get a severe trouncing...or worse...especially if you're messing with the Olympian gods!



[1] "Mrpsmythopedia"

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