Part 8: achillesforever6 talks about Diomedes in length.Man I should have found this thread quicker than I did given my name.
But for me my favorite hero in Greek Mythology is not actually Achilles, but instead Diomedes who is probably the first Mary Sue/OP character of all time. I mean all you really need to know about Diomedes is his deeds in Books V and VI in the Iliad where he basically goes on a one man rampage and gives the God of War a sensation he never felt before: PAIN
Diomedes had a neckbeard, does that make him the idealized goon?
But before that a quick run down of Diomedes: he was not a demigod like many other Greek Heroes of the time. He was the son of Tydeus who was one of the participants in the Famous Seven Against Thebes and was so beloved by Athena that she was going to give him immortality. That was until Tydeus decided to eat the brains of Melanippus, defender of the Proitid gate of Thebes. Anyway that was not kosher so no immortality for Tydeus, he dies in the conflict and the attack on Thebes fails. Diomedes during the funeral of the Seven Fathers vows with the sons of the other six kings that they would avenge their fathers and destroy Thebes. I should mention that Diomedes was four years old at this point.
Diomedes and the rest of the fatherless gang (Aegialeus, Alcmaeon, Amphilocus, Euryalus, Promachus, Sthenelus, Thersander) would call themselves the "Epigoni" which means they were born "after everything has happened" And so, 10 years pass and they join up in a force that was not as big as the one seen in the original 7 Against Thebes, but this war was considered the most important epic before the Trojan War and it really fucking sucks that this epic is all lost to the ravages of time.
All we know is that 15 year old Diomedes was considered the mightiest of all the warriors and his forces were able to vanquish the Thebeans and have their women folk driven before them. After coming back rich in loot he was able to become King of Argos through political maneuvering (Aegialeus was king of Argos and died in the conflict, he was married to Diomedes' sister and Diomedes decided to marry Aegialeus' daughter, thus making him King) and was able to rule well for 5 years and was well respected among the leaders of the other city states. Basically Diomedes at this age of his life was Prez Rickard. He also tended to the politics of his father's homeland (Calydonia) and was able to restore leadership of the throne there to his grandpa.
A few years later he becomes one of the suitors of Helen and agrees to the Oath of Tyndareus, which established that all the suitors would defend and protect the man who was chosen as Helen's husband against any wrong done against him in regard to his marriage. You should all know the rest with Paris, and the Apple, and Odysseus trying to pussy out by pretending to be insane, and how Agamemnon had to sacrifice his own daughter to get the 1000 ships to Troy, etc.
9 years later and the War is still raging and Achilles being the man baby that he is decides to have a hissy and leave with all his good antmen soldiers which is pretty big blow to the Achaean offensive force. And to really show how valient and "pure" Diomedes is in Book IV of the Iliad Agamemnon basically chews him out and says that Tydeus was a much better fighter than Diomedes. Now Achilles would have reacted by making angry face and try to rip off Agamemnon's head. One of Diomedes comrades tells Dio to yell back how he avenged his father and defeated "Seven-gated Thebes", but Dio was basically "Man he's trying to light a fire under my ass and I should just use it to motivate for the next battle" As you can see this works very well in the next battle.
For now we are finally at the part I was going to talk about; Dio's big badass moment in the Iliad (probably the best badass moment had not Achilles fought a fucking River God and nearly stormed the walls of Troy himself in a bloodlust not seen until 2006 when I saw the movie Troy for the first time)
Athena and Diomedes were basically the first healer and tank combo
At the beginning of Book V Athena using her powers ups Dio's valor levels 1000 fold as he goes around the battlefield wearing armor crafted by Hephaestus (only person in the Trojan War other than Achilles to have a cuirass made by the lame god), his father's helmet that was mortal made, but blessed by Athena, and sword made by a skilled smith. Along with valor, Athena also makes it that streams of fire are fucking flaring from his shield and helmet and Diomedes kills some Trojans before being wounded by Pandarus who has the cowardly and unmanly skill at using a bow and arrow. Does this stop Diomedes though? No the guy has goddamn fire flying around him and is the champion to the goddess of war so he stops and prays to Athena for the quote "slaughter of Pandarus" and so Athena wiggles her nose and boom he can see the difference between gods and men and she tells him to make sure to stab Aphrodite if that bitch decides to show up on the battlefield, but she warns him to not engage with any other god.
So Diomedes gets back to killing Trojans, including a couple of Priam's sons (which there are many because *insert bad Trojan condom joke here*) until Aeneas, son of Aphrodite and future star in a Roman Propaganda Epic decides to mount up with Pandarus on a chariot. He knows he can take them both on, but he knows Aphrodite will try to save her son and also knows that Aeneas' horses are descended from immortal horses owned by Zeus himself. So he orders his friend and co-king of Argos Sthenelus to steal the horses while he is fighting Aeneas.
Love how glassy eyed Aeneas is here being dragged away from Diomedes who's being held back from kicking his ass even more
But first Diomedes has to deal with Pandarus who decides to chuck a spear at Diomedes and then brags immediately that he killed the son of Tydeus, but nope Dio comes back and says the ancient version of an 80s Action Film one liner "at least, one of you will be slain"; and throws his spear which kills Pandarus. Now unarmed what do you think Dio is going to do facing off a son Aphrodite, run away, no Dio doesn't play by those rules and just gives him the ol Killer Croc technique of picking up a big rock (with ease even!) and hurls it at Aeneas crushing his hip. Aeneas faints like a Pokemon and Aphrodite comes rescuing her boy, but not before Diomedes wounds her arm. She drops her son and runs back to Olympus crying, so its up to the golden boy and all around pompous asshole Apollo to come by and save Aeneas. Still feeling the rush of wounding a god, Dio tries to harm Apollo two times before Apollo is like "Hey man don't start shit that you ain't going to win". Now any other demigod hero would say "FUCK THAT YOU FLYING ASSHOLE!! *attacks him again, meets blazing hot death from Apollo's sun pain arrows*" but Diomedes is a mere mortal and has the humility to say okay and stop. But all was not lost since Diomedes now had in possession the second pair of immortal horses among the Achaeans (Achilles had the first and man I'm starting to see a pattern with Dio and Achilles here)
There were consequences for his actions however, as Apollo decided to be a dick and urged the god of barbaric butchery Ares to take revenge against Dio transgressions of harming his girlfriend and attempting to attack another god in the process of protecting her son. Ares obliged and like a comet hitting the Earth he came upon the battlefield and started to help the Trojans in battle. Able to see the war god, Dio ordered the Achaeans to retreat back to the ships. Hera saw what was happening and went to help the Achaean forces while Athena chewed out her champion as he rested by his new horses. She mocked him by comparing him to his father who didn't listen to her advice, Diomedes merely replied, "Goddess, I know you truly and will not hide anything from you. I am following your instructions and retreating for I know that Ares is fighting among the Trojans ". She then replied, "Diomedes most dear to my heart, do not fear this immortal or any other god for I will protect you." (There must have been some DiomedesXAthena slash myths that have been lost to time because they really lay it thick here)
I got to mention I love the Corinthian Helmet design, I mean just look at Athena there actually wearing the thing
So Athena throws poor Sthenelus out of the chariot and rides with Dio and before Ares can turn around to look, Athena somehow has the invisible helmet of Hades (even then there were cop outs I guess) and now Ares can only see this lone man charging his chariot at him. Ares smiles like a butcher's dog and throws his spear at Dio but Athena reaches out and grabs it while Dio throws his spear which is guided by Athena's midochlorians and hits Ares right in the gut. Having never been wounded before Ares screams with the force of 10,000 men, scaring the shit of Achaean and Trojan alike, and runs back to Olympus like a bully who got kicked in the balls by the nerd and tries tattling on Zeus who instead gives him shit for being a pussy.
And so on that day Diomedes became the first man to ever wound two gods in a single day. Later in Book VI as the battle raged on and Dio racked up more kills than a yinzer on the first day of deer hunting season. Hector's brother Helenus described Diomedes' fighting skills in this manner: "He fights with fury and fills men's souls with panic. I hold him mightiest of them all; we did not fear even their great champion Achilles, son of an immortal though he be, as we do this man: his rage is beyond all bounds, and there is none can vie with him in prowess." By the end the Priam's wife gathered matrons at the temple of Athena in the acropolis and offered the goddess the largest, fairest robe of Troy. She also promised the sacrifice of twelve heifers if Athena could take pity on them and break the spear of Diomedes. Athena, as expected did not grant it.
And that's basically that; I'm really sorry for all the but when you start something at 1:10 and finish at 2:30 (going back and forth between this and wikipedia kills a lot of time). I remember the good old days when I used to do a blog called "Moments in Greek Mythology" where I would ramble on random Greek Myths and would only find out later that I was basically stealing Cracked.com's article format.
So yeah in short Diomedes was an OP badass motherfucker and Troy is an awful fucking film and Peter Jackson needs to here out my idea for a new multimillion dollar franchise based around the Trojan Cycle.
I would also like to be for a moment and say that I won the first place ribbon in the 2009 Pennsylvania Junior Classical League Mythology test by beating hundreds of other nerds who actually studied really hard while I on the otherhand did not because you can't properly test yourself on knowledge by studying. This is also probably why I ended in 2nd place in 2010 because some jagoff from Philly spent the time and effort studying. (I still got 1st place in Roman Lifestyle though that year )
From way back, but my personal favorite version is the adaptation of Orpheus as Dream's son in The Sandman comics.
My personal favorite version of the Orpheus myth is the folk opera version.
Finally best Mythology video game is still Age of Mythology and I won't here a word differently R.I.P. Ensemble Games