From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
Zeus's master bolt is "the symbol of his power, from which all other lightning bolts are patterned," and is very much like a weapon of mass destruction (9.81). Its disappearance causes the main conflict of this story. Every god has a symbol of power, something that represents their unique gifts and abilities. Ares has a shield, Poseidon has a trident, and Hades has a helm of darkness. These objects are more than just decoration – they are the means by which each god rules.