Watching Wrath of the Titans


The Plot

Description: Wrath of the Titans (2012) PosterFor a plot summary of the film, see:


                          Mythic Background

The plot of the film is loosely based on the Titanomachy, the war between the Titans and the Olympians, told by Apollodorus and in Hesiod’s Theogony 612-712. Note that there is no “return of Cronos” in the ancient myth. You should read about the Titanomachy before you watch the movie.


                                                            Death of the Gods

The theme of death of the gods, so central to Wrath, is not found in ancient Greek mythology, but it appears in both Egyptian and Germanic (See Ragnarök and Götterdammerung) myths. The theme of a dying god is also important in Christianity. For a discussion of the theme in modern media, see


Some Comments on the Characters

Zeus, father of gods and men and god of thunderbolts; father of Perseus

Hades, god of the Underworld; attribute is pitchfork

Poseidon, god of the sea; attribute is trident

Ares, god of War; son of Zeus

Hephaestus. crippled god of blacksmithing who makes the gods’ weapons in his forge

Cronos, the Titan; father of Zeus, Hades and Poseidon

Perseus, son of Zeus and the mortal woman Danae; in ancient mythology he slays Medusa the Gorgon and rescues the Ethiopian princess Andromeda from a sea monster. In Clash of Titans he kills a beast called the Kracken, which is probably based on the sea monster in the story of Andromenda. See Apollodorus for the story of Perseus.

Cyclopes. These one-eyed creatures work in Hephaestus’ forge.

Minotaur, half-human and half-bull son of King Minos. Slain by Theseus in the labyrinth. Note that Dante also meets the Minotaur in Hell.

Io, the name of Perseus’ dead wife. In Greek Mythology Io is mortal daughter of the Phoenician king Agenor. Io was loved by Zeus and changed into a cow. See Apollodorus on the story of Io.

Helius, the son of Perseus and Io. In Greek Mythology Perseus has no such son. (His name means “sun” in ancient Greek.

Andromeda, an Amazon-like female warrior who fights with Perseus to defeat Cronos. See Apollodorus for the story of Andromeda.

Agenor, the “Navigator”, son of Poseidon. Perseus’ helper. There are several characters by this name in Greek mythology, but the Agenor in the film seems to be based upon one mentioned by Apollodorus in Book 3.




Clash of the Titans Wiki:

This is a reasonably accurate resource on the mythological aspects of the film, but especially the characters.




1.     Watch the film and take good notes. Hand in these notes on Thursday, April 25th.


2.     Answer the discussion questions   listed below. Hand in your answers on Thursday, April 25th.


3.     Each member of the class is expected to post a 150-word critique of the film in terms of  Classical mythology at the IMDb Discussion Board ( In this post you must identify yourself by name and as a student at Monmouth College. This must    be done by Tuesday, April 23, at 8 AM. No late posts will be counted for grade.


4.     In your weekly paper (due April 25th) provide an overview of your comparisons of the Underworld in Wrath of the Titans  to the depictions of Hades and the Land of the Dead in Homer’s Odyssey, Vergil’s Aeneid, the Homeric Hymn to Demeter and Ovid’s Metamorphoses.



Discussion Questions


1.     Find an ancient image of each of the following on and compare it to the depiction of this character in Wrath: Zeus, Hades, Poseidon, Hephaestus, Minotaur, Perseus, and Andromeda. Discuss how an ancient Greek would have cast each character for this film differently. (Be sure to include the images you discuss with your answer.)


2.     Explain how Wrath includes an example of katabasis. (Hint: Don’t forget about Theseus in the Labyrinth.)


3.     Discuss how Zeus is depicted as a Christ-type in Wrath; i.e., how are Zeus and Jesus similar.


4.     Compare the depiction of the Underworld in Wrath of the Titans to the Land of the Dead in Homer’s Odyssey.


5.     Compare the depiction of the Underworld in Wrath of the Titans to the Underworld in Vergil’s Aeneid.


6.     Compare the depiction of the god Hades in Wrath of the Titans to the Hades in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter.


7.     Compare the depiction of the Underworld in Wrath of the Titans to the Underworld depicted by Ovid and Vergil in their depicted of the story of Orpheus.