Study Guide

Fergus mac Roich - Total Eclipse of the Stepkids

Total Eclipse of the Stepkids

These guys and gals know what it's like to have your fame overridden by the babies their wives or hubbies bore to other dudes or ladies.. While those kids grow up to be superstars, their stepparents are nudged into the mythological background. These four have formed a valuable support group to deal with their angst.

Amphitryon

This Greek royal found himself in a weird family way when his wife, Alcmene, got pregnant. Her babies were twins—one fathered by Zeus, whose name was Heracles (sound familiar?), and the other fathered by Amphitryon, named Iphicles. Of course, Heracles grew up to be the hero we all know and sort of love, while Iphicles was your average, run-of-the-mill prince.

Kaikeyi

Rama, hero of the epic Ramayana, has a story straight out of the Brothers Grimm. His wicked stepmother, Kaikeyi, made his life a living hell. Kaikeyi was afraid Rama would be king instead of her own son, so she forced Rama to be exiled to the forest. Rama ended up being super-nice to his stepmama, despite how mean she was, but Kaikeyi got her wish.

Olopana

In Hawaiian mythology, Kamapua'a was raised by his stepfather, Olopana. Kamapua'a and his stepdad didn't get along—the little dude raided his family's hen roost and was a general mischief-maker. Olopana visited a prophet to learn how he could curb Kamapua'a's trickster impulses, but Big K got a one-up on his stepdad by bumping Olopana off.

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