“But the day will come when Father, well I know, calls me his darling gray-eyed girl again.”

So in book 8, Zeus comes up with a brilliant plan for ending the war. And the plan is: “Let’s not anyone interfere anymore. Except for me.

He threatens to hurt any other god who interferes, and hurt them good. The gods, who don’t really much fancy being fried by lightning bolts and hurled down to Tartarus quickly agree this is a most excellent plan.

Athena: “Can we at least, like, offer them advice down there?”
Zeus: “Don’t take things so seriously. Of course I would never hurt you my darling girl.”

Zeus heads into the battle. The Trojans (by which we mostly mean, Hector), who were previously getting their butts kicked, start kicking butt instead.

Hera, none too pleased to see her Greeks hurting (and still remembering that business where the golden apple went to someone other than her, presumably), goes looking for help.

Hera: “Poseidon, are you going to stand for this?”
Poseidon: “Pretty much, yeah.”

More Greeks die. Hera tries again.

Hera: “Athena, are you going to stand for this?”
Athena: “Hell, no! Let’s harness up the chariot and get down there!”

Finally, finally, someone tries to goad someone else and it actually works. And the saga reader in the audience cheers.

Alas, Zeus notices what’s going on before Hera and Athena even make it out the gates. He sends Iris to meet them there with a message:

I’ll maim their racers for them,
right beneath their yokes, and those two goddesses,
I’ll hurl them from their chariot, smash their car,
and not once in the course of ten slow wheeling years
will they heal the wounds my lightning bolt rips open.
So that gray-eyed girl of mine might learn what it means
to fight against her Father.

Guess he’s willing to hurt her after all. (Hera, not so much–Zeus goes on to explain in his message that he expects as much from Hera, because his wife always argues with him. “If I say it’s black, she says it’s white, so what can you do, etc.”)

Hera (who, did we mention, successfully goaded Athena into this fight) now declares she can’t let Athena do this, and they turn right back for home.

There’s one other minor bit that delighted me in book 8–as Hector is urging his horses on, we learn that Andromache is a serious horse girl:

And with that threat he called out to his horses,
“Golden and Whitefoot, Blaze and Silver Flash!
Now repay me for all the loving care Andromache,
generous Eetion’s daughter, showered on you aplenty.
First of the teams she gave you honey-hearted wheat,
she even mixed it with wine for you to drink
when the spirit moved her–before she’s serve
though I’m proud to say I am her loving husband.

In Iliad fandom? I totally ship Andromache and Hector.

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