Jason, Medea, and the Argonauts return to Iolcus with the Golden Fleece, but King Pelias goes back on his word and refuses to give the throne to Jason. So, Medea gets Pelias back by tricking his daughters into killing him. This murder gets Medea and Jason kicked out of Iolcus for good. The unhappy couple takes refuge in Corinth and has two sons. Eventually, Jason gets sick of not being a king and marries Glauce, the Princess of Corinth. Enraged, Medea slaughters her and Jason's sons, Glauce, and Glauce's father Creon. Jason lives out the rest of his days feeling really sad and dies when he is knocked in the head by a rotting piece of the dilapidated Argo. (Thanks for the picker-upper ancient Greece.)
A Detailed Summary
Jason, Medea, and the Argonauts return triumphantly to Iolcus with the Golden Fleece.
King Pelias is far from pleased.
Jason is all like, "Hey so, I brought the Golden Fleece. How about you get your butt up off of that throne and let me sit down?"
King Pelias says, "Umm, yeah, no way."
"But you promised!" whines Jason.
"So what?" says Jason's uncle.
You'd think Jason would do battle with Pelias at this point. (Doesn't he still have the Argonauts with him?) Instead, mopey Jason goes to visit his father, Aeson, who's been locked up for Jason's whole life.
As you might expect, the years and years of dungeon life have taken a horrible toll on Aeson.
The ex-king of Iolcus looks like total crap, and he's about to die.
Jason is determined to do something to save his father, so he begs Medea to whip up a little magic to save the old guy.
Medea is like, "Sure thing, baby. I'll see what I can do."
So, Medea goes out in the woods and prays to the gods to help her out.
Suddenly, a chariot drawn by dragons swoops down and picks her up.
Everybody is super impressed with Aeson's miraculous recovery.
Medea decides to turn this to her and Jason's advantage.
She goes to Pelias's daughters and tells them that she can do the same thing for their father.
To prove to the girls that she can repeat the magic, Medea performs the same trick on an old ram. She slices its throat, fills it with youth juice, and before you know it, a cute little lamb is prancing around the castle.
Pelias's daughters are totally excited.
So, they go and grab Pelias, cut his throat, and drain his blood. (Happy Father's Day.)
Medea pulls a fast one on Pelias's daughters, however, and uses a fake youth potion.
So, instead of jumping up and doing an oh-I'm-so-happy-to-be-young dance, Pelias bleeds to death and dies.
(In some versions, Medea has Pelias's daughters cut him into little pieces, which she then boils in a pot. As you might expect, he doesn't recover from that either.)
When the word gets out about what Medea did, everybody is horrified, and Jason and Medea are driven out of Iolcus.
So, instead of helping Jason get his rightful throne, Medea ends up getting him exiled yet again from Iolcus.
We're guessing the un-happy couple probably had a pretty big blowout on their dragon-chariot ride away from Jason's hometown.
Jason and Medea end up settling in the city of Corinth, and they end up having two sons together.
Creon, the King of Corinth, is happy to have somebody as famous as Jason in his city.
Creon doesn't really like Medea at all, though, because of her murderous reputation.
After a while, Jason gets tired of not being a king.
So, he ends up marrying Creon's daughter, Glauce.
He figures if he can't be the King of Iolcus, he can at least be the King of Corinth one day.
As you might have guessed, Medea is super ticked-off.
She's done everything for Jason. He never would've gotten the Golden Fleece without her help. She betrayed her father. She killed her own brother. She killed Jason's worst enemy.
It's not long before murderous Medea gets her revenge.
She starts by sending Glauce a beautiful robe and a crown as wedding presents.
Glauce opens the presents and is like, "Oh, how thoughtful. Maybe, Medea and I can be friends after all."
And then Glauce's skin starts to burn...
It turns out that Medea has poisoned the robe and crown.
The poison is so awful that the skin literally starts to melt from her body.
King Creon rushes in and grabs his daughter, trying to help her.
Unfortunately, he touches the deadly poison too.
So, father and daughter fall into a bloody venomous mess on the floor.
Still, not satisfied with her revenge, Medea goes even further.
The sorceress is so filled with rage that she kills her and Jason's two sons.
She knows that destroying Jason's male heirs will be a horrible blow to him.
Her revenge complete, Medea flies off in her dragon chariot.
(She ends up marrying Aegeus, the King of Athens, promising to give him a male heir. The sorceress comes through on her promise and has a son named Medus. Later on, though, Aegeus's son Theseus shows up and Medea is back to her old tricks again...)
As you can probably guess, Medea's awful revenge really does a number on Jason.
He's a great hero, but what does he have to show for it? And now Hera and the other gods are mad at him for betraying Medea. (Hmm, they're not mad at Medea like even a tiny bit?)
Jason lives out the rest of his days totally depressed.
One day he's sitting on the beach leaned against the rotting hulk of the Argo, when a piece of the ship falls and cracks him in the head.