Mythology Mondays: Ladon

Welcome to Mythology Mondays, where I highlight a different Greek myth or an aspect of mythology that has influenced the Turning Creek series. The first two books, Lightning in the Dark and Storm in the Mountains are out now.

"VarnaDragons" by Grantscharoff - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons -
Photo of a statue in Varna, Bulgaria by  Grantscharoff

Today, we are talking about dragons! Who doesn’t love dragons? This girl LOVES them. Every once in awhile, I binge through a dragon shifter series. Because dragons.

The dragon-like monster in Greek mythology was the Ladon. He was said to be the monstrous child of two monsters, Typhon and Echidna. The Ladon was a one hundred headed serpent who guarded the golden apples of Hesperides.

Hesperides, a goddess of the golden light of sunrise and sunset, was frequently given the task of guarding treasures of the other gods and goddesses. The tree which bore the golden apples was a gift of Gaia, the Earth, to Hera on the occasion of her marriage to Zeus. The apples, besides being beautiful, could bestow immortality to whoever ate them. These were the same apples that were used to trick Atalanta into marriage. Hesperides used the Ladon to guard her garden in which the tree of the golden apples grew.

The Ladon frequently tormented the Titan, Atlas, who carried the world on his shoulders. In some tales, the Ladon was said to be able to mimic voices.

Photo by By Nicolas Vollmer from Munich.
Photo by By Nicolas Vollmer from Munich.

Among the twelve labors given to Hercules by the Oracle at Delphi was to collect some of the golden apples. Hercules slay the Ladon who stood sentinel in Hesperides’ garden and took the apples. Zeus placed the slain monster in the stars as the constellation Draco. He is entwined around the North Star.