Craziest Mythological Tales and the Best Books to Read About Them

Ancient tales of heroes and villains still stand mighty in the modern world. Read on to learn about three of the craziest mythological titans around the world.

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mythology symbols on a faded maroon background

Myths from ancient civilizations remain a hot point of interest for those with a mind for history and fantastical settings. These archaic cultures of past centuries feature larger-than-life characters and crazy stories. You could view them as how ancient people set rules and interpreted their world. Nowadays, these legends can be read for fun before inevitably being drawn into a big-budget movie. These are a few of the craziest stories from three of the most well-documented myths and the great books about them.

Seth, The Usurper

Seth, also known as Set, isn’t among the best-known ancient Egyptian deities — likely because his depicted animal head isn’t as striking as a hawk, crocodile, or jackal. That said, he was a mighty god and the central character of one of the most important myths. As a result, you can find some modern entertainment products based around Seth, such as Scroll of Seth, found on the virtual shelves of the top-rated new online casino. One of over 1,600 games on the number-one new site in Canada, it’s a novelty among a whole stack of Egyptian myth-themed slots.

Luxor, Egypt, ancient statues in the deserts of the country.

The mighty Seth is both played as a usurper and a hero. To seize the throne, Seth mutilates and murders Osiris, his brother. To try to unseat Seth, Osiris’ wife, and sister to them both, Isis finds the pieces of Osiris, resurrects him, and then conceives their son to rival Seth. That son is Horus, who also enters into a vengeful conflict with Seth. Before all’s done, Seth takes Horus’ eyeballs, while Horus takes a different pair from Seth. Discover this myth and many others from ancient Egypt in the excellent Garry J. Shaw book, The Egyptian Myths.

Endless Torture for Prometheus

The gifts of Prometheus are still well-known to this day. He separated himself from the gods and titans of ancient Greek mythology by liking humanity, resulting in him from the gods to give to us. This enabled man to advance and survive against the onslaughts of the gods and even reach enlightenment. As a result, Zeus punished him.

Prometheus, hand drawing.

Zeus is regarded as a powerful and godly figure. In ancient Greek myths, while he does win many battles and rules Olympus, he’s rarely a “good guy.” From disguising himself as a golden shower to eating his pregnant wife, Zeus is a divisive character. However, what he does to Prometheus as punishment is his magnum opus. Legend has it that, to this day, Prometheus remains tied to a rock. Each day, an eagle swoops in and eats his liver. The liver regenerates overnight, and then the eagle returns. Find out more in Stephen Fry’s Heroes: Mortals and Monsters, Quests and Adventures.

Loki’s Monster Children

Loki is probably the most famous name on this list, thanks to his appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In those movies, however, his world-ending spawn doesn’t come into play — but they do in the God of War games. With Angrboða of the Jötunn, Loki sires the giant wolf Fenrir, Hel, queen of the underworld, and the world serpent Jörmungandr.

Through this courtship, the trigger of the realms-ending cataclysm Ragnarök (Fenrir) and the one who will encircle the whole of Midgard (Jörmungandr) — the realm of the gods — are made. Later, Loki’s brother, Thor, will reel in Loki’s serpent child and fight him to the death. Fenrir is tricked into chains while biting off Týr’s right hand, the Norse god of war, but is destined to kill Odin during Ragnarök. Grab a copy of Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology for a particularly accessible read of these events.

If you want to read some crazy stories and ancient myths, you can’t go wrong with the story of Seth, Prometheus, or Loki’s spawn.