Interview with Thanatos
As you may have heard, Thanatos is a meticulous record keeper. Being the perfectionist that he is, the god of death makes sure to notate each soul that he takes into the Underworld. It's a good thing Thanatos lives in the bottomless pit of Tartarus, otherwise he'd never have room for all those files. Below, you'll find several highlights from the Death Logs brought to you by Shmoop's crack team of P.I.s.
Death Report: Sisyphus, Humiliating Disaster
Was assigned by Zeus to take the soul of King Sisyphus. I'm a peaceful death god, but I have to say that I almost think this guy should've been taken by my violent sisters, the Keres. My sources tell me that this King of Corinth killed travelers, slept with his brother's wife, and defied Zeus by telling the king of the god's secrets.
In any case, once I got Sisyphus's soul down here, I attempted to chain him in Tartarus as I was ordered by Zeus. Unfortunately, sneaky Sisyphus tricked me by asking me to show him how the chains worked before I put them on him. I then stupidly chained myself, and Sisyphus took off.
How could I be so completely stupid!?!? I never would've gotten out of those chains if Ares hadn't gotten sick of people not dying and unchained me. Ugh, this death god is never going to live this one down.
Death Report: Sisyphus, Further Humiliation
I seriously can't believe this guy! So Ares unchains me, I take Sisyphus's soul one more time, but the dude totally outsmarts me... again. Turns out he asked his wife to throw his dead body in the courtyard instead of giving it a proper burial. When I dropped his soul off on the bank of the River Styx, Charon refused to take it over in his boat. (Why is my brother such a stickler for the rules?!)
Then Sisyphus totally fooled Queen Persephone, telling her that his wife had been disrespectful to him. The Queen let him go back to the land of the living to "punish" her. You've got to be kidding me. Seriously? She hadn't heard about how tricky this guy is?
Death Report: Sisyphus, The Greatest Humiliation of All
Great. Zeus finally sent Hermes to take Sisyphus's soul down to the Underworld. Hermes looked so smug when he brought the soul. Blah, blah, blah. He's always saying he's a better psychopomp than me. Ugh, he's never going to let me forget this. Whatever, at least I don't need those girly winged sandals to fly. I've got wings of my own! Take that Hermes.
Anyway, at least Sisyphus is finally being punished. He's got to push a giant rock up a hill for all eternity. Sometimes, my sisters (the Furies) fly by and whip him a little bit just for fun. I definitely don't feel bad for him, even if I am a total pacifist. This guy is totally getting what he deserves.
Death Report: Sarpedon, A Job Well Done
Today was one of those days where it all feels worthwhile. This Trojan War thing that's going on has kept me really busy. Well, my disgusting blood drinking sisters the Keres have actually been a lot busier than me, but I've definitely had a lot of souls on my list.
Today, Hypnos and I had the pleasure of relieving the pain of Sarpedon, the Trojan hero. The poor guy was in horrendous agony after Patroclus jabbed him with that spear. Sarpedon was the son of Zeus himself, and the king asked us personally to bring him comfort and peace as he passed into the Underworld.
Hopefully, this will make up for the Sisyphus incident in the eyes of Zeus.
Death Report: Admetus/Alcestis, Sometimes It's Like the World Is Out to Get Me
Am I the only one who takes death seriously? Get this: first I receive a report that I'm supposed to take away the soul of Admetus. It seems he won the hand of Princess Alcestis by yoking a chariot with boars and lions with the help of Apollo. However, he neglected to give proper thanks to the gods, so Artemis filled his bed with snakes.
I'm winging my way up there to take his soul away, when all of a sudden I get a text from the Fates saying that he's been spared. I couldn't believe it. Since when do the Fates spare anybody? Turns out that Apollo got them drunk and convinced them to let Admetus not die as long as someone else died in his place. The Fates got drunk? Really?! They're always so by-the-book.
Next, I get another text saying that Princess Alcestis has volunteered to die in Admetus's place. Why she would do that, I have no idea. He sounds like a bum to me. He couldn't even yoke that chariot without the help of Apollo. It wasn't any of my business, though, so I swoop in to take Alcestis away. Next thing I know, Heracles comes out of nowhere and wrestles me to the ground, preventing me from taking Alcestis.
This is ridiculous. Do these mortals think they're ever really going to avoid me? It really hurts my feelings. I mean how would they feel if everybody ran away from them all time? Sometimes life just isn't fair.