Who Are the Enemies and Rivals of Zeus?

Zeus has garnered lots of enemies throughout his life. May it be because of his short temper that fails to work sometimes or because someone has intentionally made him furious. 

Whether he wants it or not, being on the throne can make him powerful, and others will be indeed jealous of his capabilities. 

In this article, we’re going to have a look at numerous of Zeus’ enemies and know why they hate the king of all gods. 

Enemies, Opponents and Rivals of Zeus in Greek Mythology

The god of thunder and king of all gods has a few strong enemies. Here are some of Zeus’ enemies in Greek mythology. 

1. Hera, the consort of Zeus and the Queen of All Gods 

Those who offend Hera will face the wrath of his wife, the goddess of all gods. She is displeased with those whom Zeus sleeps with because her husband couldn’t keep his toga.

Just because he is a god doesn’t mean he can’t enjoy himself. As a shower of gold, the god took Danae, Perseus’ mother, and transformed her into his own.

To win over women, the god sometimes assumes the form of a swan. Zeus also disguised himself as a bird and entered Hera’s dress to seduce her. Hera only married Zeus out of embarrassment and redeeming her image as a powerful goddess.

Since Zeus was still seeking new victims, they had to endure his jealous wife’s wrath. Hera made them suffer to such an extent.

Leto was one of Zeus’ partners who bore him children and faced Hera’s wrath for her pregnancy. Hera’s curse prevented her from giving birth in any land she entered, so she had to give birth in an olive branch.

Other than Leto, Hera had to punish Heracles, who is Zeus’ demigod son. Zeus was highly proud of Heracles because he also belongs in Perseus’s lineage, but Hera, on the other hand, was not something delighted with that fact. Hera sent Heracles various challenges throughout his life, and he completed them all with little to no effort. 

Zeus and Hera were not your typical couple who loved and devoted themselves to each other. The reasons above were enough for Hera to loathe her husband so much because of the position that she had to face every single time Zeus had another conquest.

2. Hades, The Unfortunate God of the Underworld

Hades drew the shortest lot out of the three gods, and he is now ruling the underworld because of it. Hades does not like that he got the underworld, so he became one of Zeus’ enemies. 

However, even though Hades viewed his brother as his enemy, he has great respect for his authority. Persephone’s beauty enthralled Hades, so he went to Zeus to ask for his permission to marry her. 

Zeus knew that Demeter wouldn’t like to lose her daughter, so he advised Hades to get her when Demeter was not looking. 

This abduction caused a great famine because Demeter was so sad to lose Persephone. Being the sound king, Zeus asked Hades to compromise to create a solution to their dilemma. 

3. Cronus, The Titan God of Time and Zeus’ Father

Zeus’ enemies perhaps started with his father. 

Cronus suffered in the hands of Zeus because he swallowed Zeus’ brothers. 

With the help of his mother Rhea, Zeus freed his siblings, and Cronus had to face defeat when the three of his children went against him. 

Poseidon, Hades, and Zeus went against their father, and after successfully gaining control over the situation, the gods got all of Cronus’s territory and divided them for themselves. 

Hades got the underworld while Poseidon had control over the seas and other creatures of the land. Zeus, on the other hand, conquered the skies and the kingdom of all gods. 

4. Gaia, The Mother of All Titans, and Zeus’ grandmother

Gaia hated that her children had to suffer at the hands of the new generation gods. 

When Zeus was just starting to take control of the new generation of gods, Gaia orchestrated the plot to take her children back again from the pit of the Tartarus. 

Like his father, Zeus knows that the titans could only bring chaos, so he locked them all up in Tartarus, and Gaia does not want that to happen to her children. 

So she started the Gigantomachy where the giants are supposed to overthrow Zeus. Gaia created Typhon, who lives to fulfill his purpose of deposing Zeus. But in the end, the Olympian God won, and Gaia made a truce with them.

5. Typhon, The Monster Who Fought Zeus in Gigantomachy

As stated in the last bullet, Gaia created this monster to defeat Zeus and seek fair treatment for her children. Typhon almost defeated Zeus when the god engaged the monster in hand-to-hand combat. 

Zeus had to fight in hand-to-hand combat because he is being called on by Athena as a coward shortly after almost all of the gods transformed into animals as they fled from Mount Olympus. 

Zeus fought with Typhon using his thunderbolts. When he finally thought he could win against the monster in hand-to-hand combat, he was gripped by Typhon’s coils. 

Typhon held Zeus tight and cut his body parts, and put him in the mountain with Typhon’s sister Delphine looking over him. Zeus was helpless until Hermes came and rescued his father. Zeus managed to fight Typhon and buried him under the huge Mount Aetna. 

6. Prometheus, The Maker of Mortals

Prometheus is the people’s champion. The long story short version of why Prometheus has become one of Zeus’ enemies was because he betrayed Zeus when he prohibited humankind from having any access to the fire. 

Prometheus knows that with fire, humans can be powerful, and Zeus does not appreciate it. He only agreed on the reason that the humans shall worship him and when he saw that Prometheus could deceive him, he punished him for the titan for his trickery. 

7. Atlas, The Titan Who Holds Up The Sky Forever 

The gods fought alongside Zeus in their eternal war, while Atlas leads the titans. Zeus was able to gain power over the other gods and exert control with the help of Gaia, who freed the Cyclopes to aid the gods in their fight against the titans by arming them with weaponry.

Zeus saddled Atlas with a burden as heavy as carrying the world on his hands and knees to push him to his breaking point and increase his suffering to teach him a lesson for being the head titan.

8. Tantalus, The Man Who Fed The Gods His Child

Knowing how much Zeus hates trickery and deception, Tantalus is included in the list of Zeus’ enemies. 

In a royal banquet, the gods have a unique mortal with whom they chose to eat dinner. The man is named King Tantalus, who Zeus later punishes for having an insatiable thirst and hunger. 

The reason why Zeus punished him has different stories, either because he tried to eat the foods of the gods or because he fed Pelops, his son, to the gods to see whether the gods could immediately figure it out or not. 

Final Thoughts

Zeus is the god who releases his vengeance on his enemies, and he makes sure that you would not ever cross him or challenge his authority. Even though the list is just containing eight characters who are famously known to ever cross and have been punished by the god, you can encounter more of them when you read more about Greek mythology. 

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