Character Background: Thanatos

My manuscript may not be in its final stages anymore but I’m going to begin divulging some information about it in the hopes of grabbing people’s attention. Maybe an agent will see this information and be intrigued enough to want to read the manuscript? Maybe this will help create a potential audience for when (notice I remain optimistic?) the manuscript is published.

In my manuscript I’ve taken Ancient Greek mythology and woven it together with my own ideas and characters. Many people are aware of the Olympian Pantheon. There are 12 gods and 12 goddesses. There’s actually a story behind those numbers but I won’t go into it right now. But the minor gods and deities aren’t so well-known, many of them drifting off into obscurity. While there are plenty of popular gods in Night’s Treasure, there are also a slew of the more obscure as well.

Thanatos is one of these gods. Except he’s not really a god at all. He’s a daemon.

Daemons – good, benevolent nature spirits, being of same nature as mortals and gods; similar to ghosts, chthonic heroes, spirit guides, forces of nature, or the gods themselves.

Like most Ancient Greek myths, there are multiple versions of this god/daemon. His mother is Nyx, the primordial goddess of night, and his father is Erebus, the primordial god of darkness. Some myths say Thanatos is the twin brother of Hypnos, the god (personification) of sleep, while others say they’re half brothers. Thanatos is the god/daemon personification of death and resides in Tartarus below the Underworld.

Not much has been said of this deity as he wasn’t part of the Olympic Pantheon and worship of him wasn’t widely practiced.

But that’s what makes him such an ideal character for me. There’s been so little written of him that I can do almost whatever I want with him without stepping on any mythical toes.

That’s a big deal for me – not stepping on mythical toes. These gods already have their own mythological “histories” and I don’t want to warp them. I prefer the challenge of weaving them as seamlessly as possible into my own story. It’s been difficult but so far I believe I have managed it even if it’s meant combining two different versions of a myth.

For more information on Ancient Greek mythology, check out Wikipedia. And, no, I haven’t gotten all of my Greek mythology information from Wikipedia. I’ve been learning about all of this since I was a kid and we had Encarta Encyclopedia on our mega-old IBM. Other kids played with videogames (I did as well), the interactive Encarta and Compton’s Encyclopedias on the computer were my games. I spent hours looking up information on them! Yes, I’m a nerd. As some people on my mom’s side of the family like to say, “And that’s okay!”

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About Katie St. John-Shin

I believe in living life and not letting it pass you by. I mean, come on, if you really want to do something but don't have the courage to do it so you let the opportunity disappear, you may regret it for the rest of your life. How can you know what you're capable of unless you go for it? Like every writer, I naturally plan on becoming a world-famous writer. I love reading, writing, fitness, coffee, watching my favorite movies/shows, listening to music, and trying new things even if they're sometimes terrifying. I'm a stay-at-home mom, a writer, and a POP Pilates instructor. I didn't think I'd succeed at that last one but I did it! I confronted my fears, dealt with things I didn't want to deal with, and completed the training! POP Pilates classes are coming soon to mid-Nebraska!
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