|Hephaestus, Scott Eaton|
Because honestly, who else is going to? The poor guy is the underdog to beat all underdogs, even in a mythos that includes Menelaus. He's the son of Zeus and his actual wife, so he gets no fun cavorting origin story. He's got a much hotter, flashier brother - and a gorgeous wife who flagrantly cheats on him with said brother. He's stuck in a volcano making pretty and amazing things for the ungrateful bastards he calls family, who grab what he gives them and don't even stay to say thank you. After Oedipus, he may have been dealt the worst hand in all of Greek mythology.
|Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan, |
Alexandre Charles Guillemot
You have to feel for the guy.
What makes things even sadder is that everyone on Olympus recognizes his competence. No one dreams of going to anyone but Hephaestus for everything from jewelry repairs to new thunderbolts. Among scads of glory-hungry and talented deities, he is universally recognized as the most gifted. And no one ever asks anything more of him than what they want from him. He's the ugly friend who makes you look better by comparison.
And he does his job tragically well. Athena gets all the glory for giving handicrafts to humans, with no mention of who might have taught her. Apollo runs away with the artistic laurels, because it's not like any other god might be good at making pretty things. The guy can make a freaking volcano erupt when he works the night shift, but his own father steals the shock-and-awe points whenever he feels like pitching a hissy fit and a few thunderbolts. Hephaestus gets no credit for things that, in a more attractive god, would be cause for adoration and fangirling.
To which he says, with consummate grace: So what?
Because if he didn't? Come on. This is a go-getter. This is a guy who knows where he's headed. If he didn't like the destination, he'd just set course for a new one. He wouldn't do it with a fuss and a fanfare, and someone would probably tease him for it. But he'd still be doing what he wanted. You just can't stop him.