Blood of Zeus didn’t necessarily offer a fresh take on Greek mythology. However, it did succeed in giving viewers a soap opera involving Greek Gods and mortals, if you’re into that kind of stuff.
Considering the popularity of the Percy Jackson franchise from Rick Riordan and with said property also getting a live-action adaptation for Disney+, I was hoping Blood of Zeus would pave the way for something new in the genre. But, unfortunately, it gave us an 8-episode long story starring Hercules-lite and the same tiring narrative of Hera being a jealous and vindictive wife.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if Blood of Zeus didn’t have some enjoyable moments. Some of the visuals were quite stunning and certain action sequences were well done. It was fun to see the Gods let loose. I wasn’t expecting Hera to have powerful levels of telekinesis at her disposal.
However, it’s the narrative I couldn’t feel very invested in. Zeus cheated on Hera (again) and that led to our lead character Heron (his name basically having an ‘N’ after ‘Hero’ which, yeah) being born. He’s apparently Zeus’s seventh child. So, lucky number seven is also playing a role in his fate? I don’t know.
And of course, Hera’s out to kill Heron and his mortal mother because she’s a jealous Goddess. Sigh!
Where is the retelling of Greek mythology where Hera ends up falling in love with a mortal and gives birth to a couple of demigods? Heck, where’s the retelling where Hera decides to destroy Zeus’s cheating behind without punishing the mortal women he’s slept with?
As I said, Blood of Zeus paved no new ground.
Anyway, the premise involved Hera wanting to get rid of Zeus. She reached out to the villainous Seraphim (who’s got a connection with Heron which you will instantly figure out) for help and she also wanted to revive the giants. She doesn’t care if her strategy destroyed everything because getting revenge was the most important thing for Hera.
The Goddess of Subtlety? This series doesn’t know her.
The eight episodes (around 30 minutes each) involved Zeus trying to train Heron for what’s to come. Our lead’s got anger issues and it took him a while to deal with them. Also, I have to say that Heron’s got to be one of the most boring protagonists I have seen. What even is his motivation? I don’t know. Frankly, I liked Seraphim better, even though he’s the bad guy.
Also, in my opinion, you could have easily switched Heron out for Hercules or Zeus’s-illegitimate-mortal-child-number-3, and I don’t think the story would have changed that much. Heron’s so bland! That’s why I feel our lead character should have been the kid of some other God to stay away from the Hercules comparisons (whom, if you remember, Hera also didn’t like).
Making up Heron’s team were three other mortals – Alexia (an Amazonian), Evios (smuggler), and Kofi (a brawler). I liked how they had their own reasons to help Heron. They also seemed to work quite well together. I guess such a team will continue if Blood of Zeus comes back for a second season. And if this show does return, I hope we’ll get to learn more about the rest of the Gods on Mount Olympus. Many of them did appear, but they’re in the background and a majority of them didn’t even have lines.
Coming to the queer representation in Blood of Zeus, I was expecting there to be a lot of it (I blame Riordan). However, the only queer scene we got in the entire series lasted for a couple of seconds and it showed Apollo waking up in bed with a man and a woman.
If you’re into an anime with cool-looking action sequences featuring Greek mythology and showing just how messed up the Gods were and how it impacted the lives of humans and demigods, I think you will have a good time binge-watching Blood of Zeus. This series also had impressive set designs, music, and voiceover cast.
Even I watched the entire thing in one sitting even though the primary narrative choices didn’t offer anything new to me. It definitely made me even more excited about what Disney+ will do with the Percy Jackson series, though.
Blood of Zeus Season 1 debuted on Netflix on October 27, 2020.
Have you watched it?
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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