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The Iliad

The Iliad


by Homer

Thetis Timeline and Summary

  • Thetis hears Achilleus's prayer and comes from the sea to help him out. He wants her to go to Zeus and get him to help the Trojans and hurt the Achaians.
  • Thetis laments because she knows about a prophecy that this will set off a chain of events that will make the rest of Achilleus's brief life miserable.
  • All the same, she says that she will speak to Zeus – as soon as the gods get back to Olympos from their twelve-day party with the Aethiopians.
  • Twelve days later, she goes, finds Zeus, and calls in the favor.
  • We next hear from Thetis after the death of Patroklos, when Achilleus cries out to her. She comes with her nymphs and tries to comfort him.
  • When Achilleus says he has lost the will to live unless he kills Hektor, Thetis reminds him that he is fated to die soon after Hektor if he rejoins the battle.
  • Achilleus says, "Let me die then."
  • Thetis makes her son promise not to go into battle until she has gotten him some more armor.
  • Then she heads up to Mount Olympos where she calls in another favor – this time with Hephaistos, the god of fire, who is also a blacksmith.
  • Hephaistos makes Achilleus some super-awesome armor, which Thetis takes down to him the next day.
  • At this point, she hears him complaining that Patroklos's body will decay. "Not to worry," she says, and stuffs some ambrosia and nectar (divine food) into Patroklos's nose. This will preserve him.
  • After Achilleus kills Hektor and buries Patroklos, Thetis guards Hektor's body so no one steals it – and thus Achilleus can keep abusing it when he feels like it.
  • When the gods decide it's time for Achilleus to give the body back, Thetis delivers the message. He consents.