Netflix: Blood of Zeus

While browsing Netflix recently looking for something new to watch I came across Blood of Zeus. It is an “adult-targeted animated series” though it is also categorised as anime (despite not coming from Japan). It is an eight part series based on a “lost tale” from Greek mythology and that was sufficient to catch my interest.

Blood of Zeus
Credit: Netflix

The background of the story links to the Gigantomachy which is the war between the Giants and the well known Olympian gods. This is not to be confused with the Titanomachy which is the completely different war between the Titans and the Olympians.

In the Blood of Zeus, the Giants are portrayed as more Cthulhu-esque rather than just humanoids. This is a bit of exaggeration in comparison to myth though some Greek writers did give the giants unusual serpent-like appendages, so it’s not exactly inaccurate.

A wide selection of Olympians appear, or are name dropped, and if you are familiar with Greek myth you can see how many you recognise. Importantly, despite their obvious power, the Olympians are portrayed as having flaws just like humans. That always seems far more interesting from a worldbuilding perspective than perfect omniscient and omnipotent deities.

In fact, a pivotal part of the story involves one of Zeus’s main flaws. He frequently had affairs with mortal women which angered his wife, Hera. The resulting demigod children are a common feature in Greek myth with Heracles probably being the most well known.

Another interesting feature of Blood of Zeus is the depiction of automatons in various forms. These are effectively fantasy robots and yet they are not out of place as the Greeks described them in myth thousands of years ago. Talos was forged by Hephaestus to guard a valuable “object”, though his duties were slightly different in the original myth. The mechanical owl Bubo is also shown, though he doesn’t come from myth but is instead from the 1981 Clash of the Titans film.

All in all, Blood of Zeus has great visuals, many references to the original myths, Cthulhu-esque antagonists, flawed deities and “robots”. What more do you want? I can certainly recommend watching it for enjoyment and for worldbuilding inspiration. A fantasy world even slightly like this could be very good and Classical antiquity needs more attention in comparison to the more common Medieval period. They are both European but still have a very different feel.

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