The Fight of Hector and Achilles: The Tragic Death of Trojan Warriors

Why did Hector and Achilles fight in the first place? The two heroes performed in the Trojan War that lasted for ten long years, but one died, and the unfortunate soul belongs to Hector. 

Is there any reason why it should lead to Achilles killing Hector? What happened after Hector and Achilles’ fight? 

If you want to know more about why it happened, we need to go back first to why it happened in the very beginning.

The Trojan War: Where It All Started

The Trojan War started in the first place because of the uninvited guest in someone’s wedding. The goddess of discord, Eris, has decided to pit the three prominent goddesses – Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite. What does god have to do with this encounter? It is because Zeus does not want to have a very chaotic kingdom. Therefore he had to choose a mortal who could help out with the situation. 

Every goddess has its strengths, and Paris indeed found every reason to feel tormented in choosing between the three of them. All of them have something to offer, but the one whom he cannot resist was Aphrodite’s offer as she offered the most beautiful woman on earth – Helen. 

Helen’s abduction sparked her husband’s anger, King Menelaus, and he is determined to get her back. He allied with King Agamemnon and other Greek heroes like Ajax, Achilles, Odysseus, and Nestor.

The only reason it lasted for ten long years has something to do with the rivalries that made Hector and Achilles fight and ended with a giant Trojan horse that killed many of the Spartans. 

Achilles vs. Hector: Who Are They?


Achilles was rooted with a mighty family tree. His mother was a Nereid who gave him an exceptional gift in his infancy. He was covered in ambrosia, but then his father, King Peleus, was against the idea, so Achilles did not fully attain an immortal feature; therefore, the term Achilles’ heel emerged. His heel was the only vulnerable part of his body that Achilles’ heel did not immortalize.

Thetis was aware of the death that was supposed to happen to Achilles, so she dressed him up as a girl to avoid this. But as Achilles grew up, he still joined the army of the Greeks. Thetis still wants to protect him from significant harm, so she asked for a sword and shield from Hephaestus. Aside from protection, the armors helped the hero in his battle because they could picture the friends and the foe. 


Hector, on the other hand, was the oldest child of King Priam of Troy. Hector defended his country and his father’s land with all his might. Thus he earned the favor of Apollo. 

Why Did Achilles Kill Hector?

Achilles, at that time, was known as the best warrior of the Greeks, and he was away, so Hector took the chance to seize the Greek army and kill Achilles’s lover and best friend, Patroclus. Hector and Achilles fight as soon as he found out that his best friend had faced a terrible death coming from their enemy, and he swore vengeance so much that he killed Hector. 

How Did Achilles Kill Hector?

Achilles killed Hector by shooting the spear into a small gap in Hector’s neck, and as if it was not enough, they dragged Hector’s body around the grave of Patroclus three times. Even though the body seemed like it had received so much damage, it was still intact because Apollo and Aphrodite still protected it even though he was now dead. 

King Priam begged Achilles to give him back Hector’s body, and the Greek hero agreed. That ended Hector and Achilles’ fight. 

How Did Achilles Die?

Because Troy lost its greatest warriors, they mourned over Hector’s death. Apollo also helped Paris, Hector’s brother, avenge his favorite hero in the Trojan war by redirecting the arrow Paris aimed at Achilles. Apollo knew that Achilles’s heel was a fatal part of his body, and so he continued to take his life away. The hero died, still fulfilling the prophecy that his mother feared in the very end.

Who Are the Gods That Helped in the Battle of Troy? 

Even though the gods have seen many bloodsheds of heroes dying and continuous fighting over the reasons they have caused themselves, the god also favored their most loved mortals.

Even though they are Greek gods, the gods also favored Trojans, and here is the list of the gods who helped the Greeks in the Trojan war. 

Greek Gods Who Helped In The Greek Army

  • Thetis. She is the mother of Achilles, and she helped with his protection during this arduous battle. 
  • Hephaestus. Hephaestus helped the greeks with the weapons that he forged. The blacksmith god created a sword and shield for Achilles because of Thetis’s request.
  • Poseidon. Poseidon once helped the Greeks strengthen their fleet when they were losing their strength to fight the Spartans. 
  • Hermes. The messenger god helped the Acheans in the Trojan War. 
  • Athena. She is one of the goddesses who are competing over the golden apple. Athena is known to be the patron god of Odysseus, one of the heroes in the Greek army. With her wisdom and knowledge at war, the goddess helped Achilles to be wise at choosing the right time to attack. 
  • Hera. The Queen of all gods is siding with the greeks because of the choice that Paris made. Paris chose Aphrodite, and Queen Hera disliked that, so Hera did many interventions to help the army kill many Trojans at her disposal. 

Greek Gods Who Sided With The Trojans

And even though there are big gods that already helped the Greek army, some gods sided with the Trojans. 

  • Aphrodite. Being one of the goddesses who participated in the Trojan war, she convinced her lover Ares to side. In Hector and Achilles’ fight, the goddess protected Hector’s body from receiving too much damage. 
  • Ares. In the Trojan War, the god of war pledged his allegiance to Athena and Hera. However, he was swayed by Aphrodite, and they fought alongside the Trojans. 
  • Apollo. Apollo hated King Agamemnon because he took captive his priest’s daughter Chryseis and so he sent plagues to the Greek army and favored Hector. 
  • Artemis. The twin of Apollo also intervened with the plans of the Greeks to defeat the Trojans. She was furious that Agamemnon’s army carelessly killed one of her sacred stags, and so the goddess required him to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia. And even though there are gods who have chosen to take a side, gods like Zeus, Hades, Dionysus, Demeter, and Hestia did not want to take one for the team. They remained the counsel of unbothered gods. 

Final Thoughts

In the end, Hector and Achilles’ fight has smeared the lives of thousands of Trojans, and it provided many lessons that we can take in their battle.

First off, not all gods chose to be involved with the battle. Zeus wants to remain neutral, but his enraged wife, who did not win the title of the fairest goddess of all, still wants to avenge her name. 

Secondly, we can see that even the mightiest heroes cannot exempt themselves from their cruel fate, even if they have strong armor or not. 

In the end, knowing all about their epic battles has provided an exclusive lens to us that getting someone you love murdered triggers unpleasant reactions, which may lead to someone’s own harm too. 

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