I kind of dropped the ball and didn't tell you guys the story of how Perseus slayed the gorgon Medusa. It is actually a way more fascinating tale filled with an epic journey to find the tools to defeat the snake haired abomination. First things first though, I want to explain the origins of Perseus (since I did that for Medusa a long time ago).
Impregnated by gold dust, well I give Zeus points for being creative
Perseus was the offspring of Danae and Zeus, but how this maiden got screwed by Zeus is a pretty fun story filled with destiny once again being an unstoppable force that no mortals could prevent. You see Danae's father Acrisius was disappointed that he did not have a son. So he went over to, what else, the Oracle at Delphi who warned him that his daughter's son would one day kill him. (Man this is a common theme in Greek hero stories isn't it?) So what did the king do? He locked his daughter up in a tower* (And I thought that was a Medieval trope) to prevent any man to get to her. This of course couldn't stop the eternally lustful god of rape, Zeus, from getting some hot virgin pootang. He flew down to the tower and was able to impregnate Danae as a shower of gold!
*And by tower I meant in a bronze chamber open to the sky in the courtyard of his palace (the more I think about it that is not really a tower at all)
Well this interesting
Fearful for his future but unwilling to provoke the wrath of the gods by killing Zeus's offspring and his own daughter, Acrisius cast the two into the sea in a wooden chest. (a obviously common custom for fathers when their daughter's got knocked up) The two would wash ashore on the island of Seriphos, where they were taken in by the fisherman Dictys ("fishing net"), who raised the boy to manhood. The brother of Dictys was Polydectes ("he who receives/welcomes many"), the king of the island. (this island was the island of meaningful names apparently)
Give me a head of a monster that will most likely kill you!
After some time, Polydectes fell in love with Danae, yet Perseus, who knew that Polydectes had grim intentions, constantly protected his mother from him. Polydectes desired to remove Perseus from the island so he could have Danae, so he therefore hatched a plot to send him away in disgrace. Polydectes held a large banquet where each guest was expected to bring a gift. Polydectes requested that the guests bring horses, under the pretense that he was collecting contributions for the hand of Hippodamia, "tamer of horses". (Again this is the island of meaningful names) The fisherman's protégé had no horse to give, so asked Polydectes to name the gift, for he would not refuse it. Polydectes held Perseus to his rash promise, demanding the head of the only mortal Gorgon, Medusa, (the titular chick with snakes for hair) whose very expression turned people to stone.
Give us back our eye!
Perseus would be aided by the goddess of wisdom and heroes, Athena, in his quest to kill the monster that Athena herself created. (In a rather douchey mood I might add). She told him to seek the garden of Hesperides, where he would find the weapons necessary to defeat Medusa. However, Perseus did not know where to go and so Athena told him that he would have to go to the island of the Graeae, the grey ones, who were the three sisters of the gorgons that shared one tooth and one eye. Perseus was able to force them to tell him the location of Hesperides by taking their only eye.
I would like to stay and chat, but I got an unholy abomination to slay
From the Hesperides he received a knapsack (a kibisis) to safely contain Medusa's head. Zeus gave him an adamantine sword and Hades' helm of Darkness to hide. (Wow the two of the most powerful gods were willing to give him such powerful weapons) Hermes loaned Perseus winged sandals to fly, while Athena gave him a polished shield. Perseus then proceeded to the Gorgons' cave.
In the cave he came upon the sleeping gorgons: Stheno, Euryale and Medusa. (unfortunately they were not the monster version of the Three Stooges) By viewing Medusa's reflection in his polished shield, he safely approached and cut off her head. (Well that was easy) From her neck sprang Pegasus ("he who sprang") and Chrysaor ("bow of gold"), the result of Poseidon and Medusa's meeting. (Jesus that was a long gestation!) The other two Gorgons pursued Perseus, but under his helm of darkness he escaped.
Yep that is Medusa's head alright
After flying around, saving Andromeda, and other misadventures that can happen when you give a mortal shoes that can make you fly, he began his way back to Seriphos.
When Perseus returned to Seriphos with the Gorgon's head, he found that, in his absence, his mother was threatened and abused by Polydectes, who made her work as a palace slave. Perseus was outraged and strode into the throne room where Polydectes and other nobles were convening. Polydectes was surprised that the hero was still alive and refused to believe Perseus had accomplished the deed he was sent out to do. Perseus professed that he did slay the Gorgon named Medusa and as proof, he revealed her severed head. When Polydectes and his nobles gazed upon the prize, they were then turned to solid stone. (I guess the nobles just got stoned. YEEEEAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!) Now let's see how the prophecy of Acrisius turned out.
Ow my head!
Perseus and Danae returned to Argos but King Acrisius had gone to Larissa. When they arrived at Larissa, there was an athletic competition going on. Perseus, being the young strapping man that he was, decided to take part in these games. During the discus competition, the prophecy was fulfilled, Perseus threw his discus and poor old Acrisius was struck in the head and killed by his grandson. So yeah that little loose end was tied up. So um, that's Perseus killing Medusa, um good bye for now?