Immortal Monday on the Epirus Bow and Mount Tartarus

Who wants to be a superhero? Come on, don’t all raise your hands at once. I know, we all feel self-important. It’s human nature. Myself, I always liked the idea of being something more along the lines of Xena. A kick @$$ warrior princess. Of course, that was before I read Lisa Wilson’s post on the true Amazon warriors. That picture doesn’t look as bright to me anymore. But if you had an element from the world of the immortals, say the Epirus Bow, you could be a pretty cool superhero now couldn’t you? Something along the lines of a Green Arrow, maybe? Only your arrow would glow all shiny and bright!

Today on Immortal Monday I thought I’d address the multiple search engines that have lead many people to this blog in search of the mighty Immortal object and place made famous in the 2011 movie Immortals. Countless people have wandered here looking for information on Mount Tartarus and the Epirus Bow. After all, they made a pretty spectacular splash on the big cinematic screen! But let me tell you, Hollywood used their artistic license on this big budget Greek mythological tale and they told a not-so-true tale. Sorry.  This might be why all your internet searches have been so fruitless.

Outside the wall at Mt. Tartarus

First, in the movie they made it easy for their character’s journey in that everyone got to stay above sea level. By adding the word Mount in front of the location, the Titans were suddenly held in a mountain instead of the underworld, their true location according to myth. So, if we were to believe mythology, the Titans were actually held in the deep dark, gloomy pit beneath the abyss of the underworld. It was a dungeon used for torment, a place where souls received punishment and judgment. It was not Mount Tartarus, but simply Tartarus. Think miserably pit even farther down than hell and you’d have a pretty good idea of what we’re talking about. That’s right, lower than Hades‘ rule.

Hollywood's Eprius Bow
Hercules Bow

So what of the Eprius Bow? Well, it sure came in pretty handy in the movie and it looked super cool too. But according to the myths, Theseus never found a bow in any rock. He did, however, find his father’s sword under a rock. And he was an excellent fighter. His skills were actually a thing of legend. The closest thing to the Epius Bow that can be found in Greek mythology would be the Bow of Hercules. The bow would later be used in the Trojan War for which it is most famous. Hercules had died before this point, passing the bow and arrows to Prince Philoctetes who had been with him at his death and had been his companion through many of his labours – a task Hercules undertook in penance for his many errors, one of which resulted in the destruction of his own family. I should note that Hercules, although associated with the gods, is not a god himself, but a demigod. His father was a full god (Zeus) and his mother was mortal. He was a man of immeasurable strength, but immortal he was not.

As for his archery set – the bow shot arrows like no other. They would surely deliver death as the wounds they left couldn’t be healed. Each arrow was individually dipped in the blood of the great dragon of Lerna, making it a mighty weapon indeed.

Where Hollywood got it right in the creation of this film:

  • Theseus is well documented in mythology and he did fight the Minotaur as well as slay him both in mythology and the movie.
  • He did fall in love with Phaedra, in fact he married her, and she bore his son, Acamus.
  • The gods and Titans also fought a ten year war and it would be called the Titanomachy.
Theseus the fighter

Where Hollywood strayed and may have taken liberties, according to mythology:

  • Theseus was known to have all his strength because he was the son of Poseidon.
  • The gods never stepped in and helped Theseus in his endeavors.
  • Theseus never fought Hyperion or his army. In fact, the only army it’s documented in mythology that he fought is the Amazons (go Xena!).
  • Theseus’ mother was not recorded as being a peasant, but the daughter of a king rather.
  • There were only 12 Titans, rather than the 20 seen in the movie and as we already established, were held in the underworld – not in a mountain.
20 Titans set free in the movie

So as you can see, there is no point in trying to locate Mount Tartarus since it did not exist. I hope this has curried the curiosity of the many wanderers searching endlessly for the answer regarding these make believe items. Hollywood has a powerful way of captivating the minds and interest of its fans. If these kinds of things interest you, might I suggest a further study into the Bow of Hercules and the true Tartarus.

What do you think of the liberties Hollywood takes with history and mythology? Do you feel they have a responsibility to hold closely to the truth or should they be allowed as much freedom as they see fit? Sadly, many people today believe what they see on the big screen. What does that say for our society and educational system?

As always, thank you for joining us for Immortal Monday. If you have a topic you think fits the theme and you would like it covered, feel free to whisper it in my ear and I’ll consider it for a future post.

What? What’s that you say? You want the usual Immortal Monday eye candy. Well, I wouldn’t want to disappoint. I give you a splattering of the delish we have mentioned here today. A little something for everyone. Happy Monday everyone.

Our "hero" Theseus
Theseus dresses for battle
Theseus' mythological father - Poseidon

  (Above- Kevin McKidd) This one is winning the poll in the Poseidon post – so far.

Or this version of Poseidon

 (Above – Kellan Lutz) Because Some of you just want to see Kellan.

Ah, hello Hercules.

 Let me pick my chin up off the floor…

More demigod action - row row row your boat

 And for those interested in something of a different flavor –

The beautiful Phaedra
Wowza! Lucky Theseus.

Now that I feel a serious need to work out for a month straight, I hope you enjoyed this installment of Immortal Monday and its gratuitous eye candy. 😀 ~ BTW, this is Immortal Monday’s 13th post. That has to be lucky. Right? 😉


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43 thoughts on “Immortal Monday on the Epirus Bow and Mount Tartarus”

  1. Melinda VanLoneMelinda VanLone

    I think Hollywood’s only responsibility is to entertain. I suppose if they say “this is a true story” then they cross over into journalism and should be factual and accurate. Otherwise I fully expect the story to be embellished or to be a flat out lie. Hopefully it’s a good lie! That’s what I pay for ;-). Thanks for the eye-candy, awesome way to wake up on Monday 😀

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      You are so welcome Melinda! I aim to please. I agree, we can’t hold Hollywood responsible for anything. So many people obviously left the movie confused, unsure of what was based on the myth and what was not. Many of them seem to be wandering over here. Maybe now they will find a more fitting answer.

  2. August McLaughlinAugust McLaughlin

    I admire authors, filmmakers and other artists who create works that honor truthful events. Although films are meant to entertain, I do think that fiction books and movies tend to address and expose important issues with more authenticity than many of the articles, books and TV shows that present themselves as true. Not sure how this relates to mythology, but felt like throwing it out there… 😉

    I’d personally prefer that film depict history and mythology with integrity, since much of it is new to me. Thanks for another fascinating post, Debra!

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Authenticity is nice. It’s less confusing for those not in the know. 🙂 Truth, I had to do a little checking myself. I’m not an expert on Greek mythology, but I do find it fascinating.

      You are very welcome August. 🙂

  3. Krystal Wade (@KrystalWade)Krystal Wade (@KrystalWade)

    I stopped reading after you showed a picture of Henry Cavill. I drooled while skimming the rest of the way through the post. Sorry..he’s my hero. Literally, I created a character in my book based off him. Sigh. Then you threw a picture of Kevin McKidd in there, and he’s a sub character in my novel. Are you trying to kill me, lady? I promise to finish reading. I swear. Quiz me later, but I might have to hide all the images if I’m going to make it through….now, back up to drool over sweaty, shirtless Henry. Sigh.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Then I have done my job correctly! 🙂 I don’t know why, but when I pulled up Henry Cavill’s picture last night you came to mind. Hmmm Did I already know about this particular connection? I knew about Kevin McKidd for the earlier post, but I don’t think I knew about this one. Crazy.

      • Krystal Wade (@KrystalWade)Krystal Wade (@KrystalWade)

        I believe I shared my fascination for Henry with you before. If a movie is ever made of my book and they cast him to play Arland…they’ll have to keep me off set. 😉

  4. Tameri EthertonTameri Etherton

    Ah, Hollywood. How we love thee and loathe thee. I suppose if we want history we need to research on our own, if we want eye candy and entertainment we have Hollywood. Which isn’t a bad thing at all! Loved learning more about Theseus. As you know, I loved the movie, even with its mixed myths.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I know. Isn’t it so. Like I don’t get enough work as it is with 4th grade homework. Ugh! LOL But Hollywood and eye candy – very nice. We can always thank them for that. 😀

  5. Coleen PatrickColeen Patrick

    Extra special thanks for the eye candy Debra 😉

  6. Lisa Hall-WilsonLisa Hall-Wilson

    Thanks for the mention! Yes, Theseus did fight the Amazons (with Hercules or Herakles) to steal the belt of Ares from the Queen. In that story he’s either villainized as a would-be rapist, or romanticized for stealing the heart of a queen. Either way, she followed him back, had his son, and then died fighting her own people. Such a sad story. This film’s version of Theseus is so much more romantic 🙂 I think you’ve given me a new idea for a blog post. Thanks!

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      You’re very welcome Lisa. And thank you for adding more info to satisfy our curiosity. Glad I could spark an idea. 😀

  7. EmmaEmma

    Henry Cavill, yum yum!

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Isn’t he tough? I wish he’d give us a sexy eye shot like Kevin Sorbo did. I’m such a sucker for the eyes. *sigh*

  8. rachelfunkhellerrachelfunkheller

    Debra, Great post, thanks for the eye candy, now I’m totally out of whack. But isn’t Tartarus the place in the Underworld that is sort of the equivalent of the christian “hell”? Filled with fire and suffereing? That’s what I recall. As for Hollywood, it’s all about the cash, baby! Truth? Nah.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Approximately, Rachel. When I looked into it they defined it as below the underworld. So where does “hell” fit in exactly? I was trying to decide that myself. I almost defined it as hell in the post and decided best not to, just in case. I don’t want anyone stumbling on my sight and taking my word as gospel. That could be bad, especially if my facts aren’t verified. It may depend on the interpretation, and the sources I sited didn’t mention it.

  9. Emma BurcartEmma Burcart

    You know, I’m fine if Hollywood wants to put 20 gorgeous men in the group instead of 12. The more the merrier, I say. I do love hearing the actual myth behind the movie, though. I like a mix of both sides. Hollywood glamour and ancient myth. That’s probably why the movies are so popular. Great post!

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Thank you Emma! Yes, bring on the eye candy! 😀

  10. Karen RoughtKaren Rought

    I wanted to see Immortals, but I never got around to it. I’m almost glad I didn’t. I would’ve been squirming in my seat and shaking my fist at the big screen. Greek mythology includes some of the oldest stories ever told – there’s no need to “improve” them by changing the details! But that’s just my opinion. 🙂

    (And…oh, Hercules!! Love that show.)

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      If you need movies to be true to the original myths and legends you should proceed to each viewing with extreme caution. LOL It is hollywood, after all.

  11. lynnkelleyauthorlynnkelleyauthor

    Hollywood is in business to make money, so they use creative license to change whatever they think will draw a bigger audience. I know not to believe everything in the movies, especially the ones that are “based on a true story.” Unless we do some research, we don’t know how much of the movie is true.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      That’s very true Lynne. When it right down to it, it’s all about the all mighty dollar. It makes the movie industry go round, and round, and… so on.

  12. Louise BehielLouise Behiel

    awesome eye candy as I prepare for bed tonight. I wonder who I’ll dream about and what the rating will be ?

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Hehehe. Are you going to share those results with us Louise?
      Just kidding. I would never put you on the spot like that. Would I?

  13. Jennette Marie PowellJennette Marie Powell

    I don’t ever expect anything from Hollywood to be true to the source material. Look what they do to some books! OTOH I’m pretty much Ok with it as long as it’s entertaining. You must’ve done a ton of research for this post – thanks for sharing the real deal!

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      So true, they have destroyed some of my favorite young adult books. In each of those cases they weren’t even that entertaining. 🙁

      You’re very welcome Jennettee!

  14. Marcy KennedyMarcy Kennedy

    Your Immortal Monday posts are some of my favorites (I’m reading them even when I don’t get a chance to comment). I was glad you pointed out the Tartarus issue. One of my major papers during my master’s was a study of ancient conceptions of hell, and so I really struggled when they wed “Mount” with “Tartarus.” I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Wed! Excellent choice of words. Thank you Marcy. I’m glad you enjoy Immortal Mondays. They cover such a wide range of immortal topics. I admit that I usually have several of your posts open for days! I don’t always comment. Both you and Lisa always write such smart and informative posts. This week’s been especially hard for me. You may have noticed I’m off my game. I’ll bounce back and get back to visiting the blogs, plus my own. LOL

  15. Fabio BuenoFabio Bueno

    Immortal Mondays rock! I used to know a lot about mythology when I was in my teens. Reading your posts takes me back. Theseus. Minotaur. Titans. Each word brings a memory. Thanks, Debra.
    I remember everything Hercules, but not about Theseus. Now I have to watch “Immortals”!

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      There is plenty of action in it. You may like that, Fabio! I always enjoy a good action scene. I wasn’t disappointed in that department.

  16. febe moss (@TheFebeMoss)febe moss (@TheFebeMoss)

    I loved this post! I’m actually writing an urban mythology chick lit novel centering around Medusa. I had several issues with this film. Hollywood dosen’t know what to do with greek mythology. It usually makes it over the top and cheesy. I did like clash of the titans though.

    Great post! Now i’m going to look through the rest of your immortal posts.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Ooh! You have me very curious. Would this be about how she came to be cursed? Throwing it into a more contemporary setting maybe? When you think about it, it was really unfair what happened to her.

      Thank you so much for stopping in! I hope you find something else in the IM archives you like.

  17. Paige KellermanPaige Kellerman

    Mount Tartarus? For realz?? I’d say they took that liberty and ran far, far away with it. I love Greek Mythology, so I love seeing some of the things Hollywood goes crazy with. The stories are good all by themselves. I’m not sure why they feel the need to go changing things all willy nilly…

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      For realz chickie! Can you believe it? Maybe you should be a screen writer to protect the integrity of such projects. LOL As if! Ultimately it comes down to what the Big Bads want. If they want giant spider machines coming in as the evil in the Wild West, it’s a done deal!

  18. ElisaElisa

    I like it when they stick closer to the truth;). Awesome post 😉

    February 10, 2012
  19. ninanina

    Thank you 🙂 awsome, but I prefer the truth about history although I know its Hollywood I think it should be kept as the real mythology. Lol but that is my opinion 😀 thank you

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      You’re welcome, Nina. Glad it helped. Exactly the point of this post. Pointing out where Hollywood got it wrong, bent the truth and/or made up their own. Ain’t movie making grand? 😀

  20. julio Cesájulio Cesá

    This was the fourth article that was related to this topic and it was the most clear to me. Liked it.
    blog:Henry Cavill Altura

    November 21, 2022
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