Conflicting statements exist about Demeter's origin:
- According to Pluto, she was the Earth goddess Gaea.
- According to legends, Demeter was the second daughter of the Titan deities Cronus and Rhea, and consequently granddaughter to Gaea.
Fearing that he would be dethroned by one of his offspring just as he had overthrown his own father Ouranos, Cronus had his own offspring (Pluto, Neptune, Demeter, Vestla -or Hestia- and Hera, save for her sixth child Zeus who was hidden by Rhea in Crete) either:
- according to legends, imprisoned his own offspring Hades, the Olympian underworld, from where Zeus freed them.
- according to Cronus' himself, swallowed his children them as they emerged from Rhea's womb, and that they remained alive inside him until Zeus released them by poisoning the cup of Cronus, forcing him to vomit his siblings.
Zeus along with Demeter, Hera, Neptune, Pluto and Vestla fought a war with the Titans (known as the Titanomachy) which ended with Zeus's victory, helped by Gaea. They imprisoned most of the Titans in Tartarus.
Despite neither Demeter nor her sister Vestla ever deigned to rule, Zeus establishing all his sibling and potential rivals to some responsibility positions, with Demeter watching over the land, Zeus made himself as monarch of the Olympus and the Olympian gods and could rule a peaceful Olympus. An alternate account from Poseidon states the surface was equally shared between him, Zeus and Pluto.
Since her older sister, Vestla, chose to remain an eternal virgin, she was the first goddess who caught the romantic attentions of Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades, especially since she was beautiful in her own right, kind-hearted, and an excellent cook. However, Demeter turned down all their proposals of marriage, for she preferred to devote herself to her duties as the Goddess of the Harvest and Fertility.
Relationship with Zeus
However, there came a time where Zeus was determined to court Demeter. Despite a shape-shifting struggle between the two, Zeus successfully seduced Demeter after transforming into a serpent. They enjoyed a relationship that resulted in Demeter's first child: a very beautiful daughter named Persephone. Though the affair later ended, Demeter was still happy, for she loved her daughter dearly.
Persephone grew up without want, always by the side of her mother, who shared some of her power over the earth with her, and she eventually became the Goddess of Springtime and Flowers. In fact, Demeter loved Persephone so dearly that she viewed her as the light of her life, and took to spending all of her time with her.
Abduction of Persephone
While Demeter loved all of her children dearly, Persephone remained her favorite child of all, the one whom she took to spending whatever free time she had with. Due to her great beauty, Persephone was often desired by many gods, but Demeter would would never allow it.
The god Hades fell in love with her and obtained permission from Zeus to take her as a bride without telling Demeter. In fact, Zeus is reputed to have suggested abduction to keep Demeter from knowing the truth. Abducted while in the presence of her friends the Sirens, Persephone was taken against her will to Tartarus where she pined for her mother and refused to eat. Demeter mourned for her daughter for ten days before Hecate, looking to make trouble for Hades, told her the truth. As a result of this, a grief-stricken and wrathful Demeter commanded the earth to become barren and infertile until her daughter was returned to her (this in turn induced autumn, and then winter). Upon seeing the starvation and anguish of the mortals due to Demeter's curse on the earth, Zeus was forced to order Hades to return Persephone to her mother.
Unfortunately, while in the underworld, Persephone fasted by eating three pomegranate seeds. As Zeus arbitrated the case, Persephone was required to spend parts of the year on Olympus and Hades. Demeter also punished the Sirens for not reporting the abduction, by transforming them into birds and imprisoned them on Anthemoessa.
She was later present at the funeral of Hercules.
Demeter possesses the conventional powers of the Olympian gods. Due to her having divine control over agriculture, she could punish those who offend her with famine or hunger. She could also change the climate and state of the earth, due to her being the Goddess of the Seasons. The legendary tale of Hades and Persephone is just one of the numerous instances where Demeter's powers could affect the state of nature itself: when she is with her most beloved daughter, Persephone, the earth is warm and fertile, but when Persephone is away with her husband, Hades, the world is cold, dark, and barren.
- Superhuman Strength: Like all Olympians, Demeter is superhumanly strong. Her strength is about average for an Olympian female and she can lift about 25 tons.
- Superhuman Speed: Demeter can run and move at speeds greater than the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Stamina: Demeter's musculature generates considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of a human being. She can physically exert herself at peak capacity for about 24 hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in her blood begins to impair her.
- Superhumanly Dense Tissue: Demeter's bodily tissues have about 3 times the density as the bodily tissues of a human being, contributing somewhat to her superhuman strength and weight.
- Superhuman Durability: Demeter's body is much harder and more resistant to injury than the body of a human being. She can withstand great impact forces, falls from great heights, powerful energy blasts, and exposure to temperature and pressure extremes without being injured.
- Superhuman Agility: Demeter's agility, balance, and bodily coordination is enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Demeter's reflexes are similarly enhanced and are superior to those of the finest human athlete.
- Immortality: Like all Olympians, Demeter is, for all intents and purposes, practically immortal. Demeter is immune to the effects of aging and hasn't aged since reaching adulthood. She is also immune to all known Earthly diseases and infections. However, while Demeter can't die through natural causes, that doesn't mean that she can't be killed.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite her body's high resistance to injury, she, like all other Olympians, can sustain physical injury. However, if she is injured, her godly life force enables her to rapidly regenerate damaged tissue with much greater speed and efficiency than a human being. However, she is unable to regenerate missing limbs, organs, or brain cells, at least not without the aid of powerful magical aid.
- Energy Manipulative Powers: Demeter possesses various mystical and energy manipulative abilities, most of which are undefined and unknown. However, they are known to include the ability to cross dimensions, cure the sick, create small electrical discharges, and influence the growth and prosperity of flowering plants.
- Plant Manipulation: As the Goddess of Agriculture, Demeter has divine authority and absolute control over plants, crops, and the harvest. She could either grant or enhance the fertility of the earth, turning barren plains into fertile fields, and encourage orchards to bear fruit and flowers to bloom.
- Atmokinesis/Weather Manipulation. As a Goddess of the Seasons, Demeter could control the weather to a certain extent, such as making it rain, or snow, or cause the temperature to change, however she wished it,
Like all Olympians, Demeter is superhumanly strong. Her strength is about average for an Olympian female and she can lift about 25 tons.
- 3 Appearances of Demeter (Olympian) (Earth-616)
- Minor Appearances of Demeter (Olympian) (Earth-616)
- Media Demeter (Olympian) (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 1 Images featuring Demeter (Olympian) (Earth-616)
- Quotations by or about Demeter (Olympian) (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Demeter (Olympian) (Earth-616)
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- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Mystic Arcana Black Knight #1
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica #1; Olympians' entry
- ↑ Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica #1; Achelous' entry
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Mighty Avengers: Most Wanted Files #1; Olympians' entry
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Incredible Hercules #130
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Hercules: Fall of An Avenger #2
- ↑ Incredible Hercules #123
- ↑ Marvel Atlas #1; Italy's entry
- ↑ Avengers #50
- ↑ Fantastic Four Vol 3 #21
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