Persephone, the Queen of Underworld was abducted and tricked into living with the lovelorn Greek God, Hades.
Did she learn to love him with time, as the myth suggests or was she just another victim of Stockholm syndrome?
What could’ve been had he pursued her like a normal suitor and made her fall in love ?
It was just another afternoon, the sky was clear and birds could be heard chirruping. It was one of the days when Hades had decided to ascend from the underworld on hid chariot. He often visited the earth to escape his dismal kingdom. The God of Death was riding through the meadows, seeking peace when he spotted a young maiden picking wild flowers from the field.
On a closer look he realised that it was none other than Persephone, his brother Zeus’ daughter and beloved of her mother Demeter, the goddess of harvest presiding over the grains and fertility of the earth.
Hades had never seen such beauty who oozed of innocence his entire life. He decided to wed Persephone and make her his Queen. He rushed to Olympus to meet Zeus and ask him his daughter’s hand for marriage.
“ What brings you to my humble abode, dear brother?”
“I am in love with your daughter Persephone and wish to marry her. Give me your permission so that I can make her my queen.”
Zeus is amused by his brother’s confession for he didn’t think he was capable of love. Though Zeus had no objections with the wedlock of the two, he knew Demeter would never allow it for she could not bear to be apart from Persephone. Moreover she would never let her daughter live in the gloomy underworld.
So being the mighty God, he tacitly advised Hades to abduct his daughter. However, Hades being truly in love vowed to make Persephone fall in love and with him and willingly become his queen.
Hades hurriedly returns to the meadows where he first saw the innocent maiden and approaches her with a bunch of wild flowers. Persephone is astonished to see Hades there, however she is unable to comprehend the sudden pull she she feels towards the God of Death for she was aware of the stories of his countless misdeeds and ruthless actions.
Persephone was also aware of her mother’s possessiveness regarding her and knew she would never allow her to accept any suitor, especially Hades, the God of Death.
But soon started the love escapades of the two lovers.
Serenading each other near the water clearings, meeting secretly behind the valley, Hades had never felt so alive. He had never thought that he could ever find such happiness and forget his distressful life in the Underworld.
As the meetings increased and Persephone started to see what a caring and loving being Hades was, she could not fathom the cruelty things she had heard people say about him.
Little did she know that the “Bad Man” of every human and God’s dream was good only for her.
Hades was becoming impatient and could not wait to make Persephone his queen any longer. One fine day he asked her to accompany him to the Underworld as his queen. Not wanting to disappoint him and hurt him, she reluctantly agreed, on the condition that she would return to earth and only become his queen once they have her mother’s blessings.
Hades kingdom was nothing like she had expected it to be. Left to explore the palace all by herself, Persephone wandered in the gardens admiring the beauty of life in the world of death. She had never seen prettier flowers or more ripe fruits than the ones Hades’ gardens.
Having eaten nothing since morning, Persephone gave into temptation and tasted the pomegranates that grew in the garden, unaware of the prying eyes of the gardener.
Naive little Persephone did not know that she had sealed her fate as the Queen of Underworld for anyone who ate the food of underworld had to live there lest they shall die.
After a while, Hades and Persephone return to earth, only to face the wrath of a fuming Demeter.
Demeter believed that Hades was not a suitable suitor for her daughter and that he had tricked her into falling in love with him. She orders Persephone to go home and cut all ties with the God.
“ Persephone shall return to Underworld with me as my Queen for she has tasted the food there. If you care for your daughter and wish for her to live you will not object it” , says Hades.
Demeter is heartbroken and looks towards her daughter to see any sign of disapproval, only to see Persephone crying and nodding her head yes.
As much Persephone’ tears were of sorrow for leaving her beloved mother, she was ecstatic to live the rest of her life ruling beside Hades as his Queen and wife.
Feeling miserable on hearing such news, Demeter vows to step back from her duties of harvesting earth in grief of losing her daughter to the underworld. Fearing that there will be nothing left for humans to offer Gods, Zeus descends from Olympus and offers a solution to the whole ordeal.
He decides to give Persephone half months on Earth with her mother and other half months in the underworld with Hades. Though none of the two parties were pleased with the alternative nevertheless they had no other option but to accept it.
During the six months that Persephone was apart from her mother, Demeter was upset and not in the mood to carry out her duties, leaving the earth to decline. These months were of Autumn and Winter where there was no harvest and growth.
Persephone became the Goddess of Spring as when she came to spend time with her mother, the earth would yield and become fruitful for Demeter would shine from happiness.
Thus the lovely maiden Persephone became the rightful wife of Hades and Queen of Underworld without hating her husband in the initial phase of their life as is suggested in the original myth of Greek Gods.