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.