The Little Mermaid

So if anyone out there is as big on Greek mythology as I am, you'll see the obvious lack of forethought on this character's name. Let's first establish The Little Mermaid's ties to legitimate Greek myth

Triton was the son of Poseidon, god of the sea, who gave him his all-powerful trident and made him the king of the seapeople. (By the way, the Greeks invented merpeople, and Triton was the first merman, the progenitor of all other merpeople via his SEVEN DAUGHTERS--Sound familiar?)*

Back to the mythological relevance of Queen Athena...

Athena was the goddess of wisdom, the patron goddess of Athens, who was most certainly NOT a mermaid. In fact, she held a grudge against Poseidon (and his offspring) due to several offenses on Poseidon's part. For one, Poseidon slept with the beautiful Medusa in a temple of Athena (a MAJOR no-no in the Greek pantheon) which caused a bitter Athena to turn Medusa into the hideous monster we all know and love. Another example of their rivalry would be when they competed to be the patron deity for Athens (only later named Athens after it's patron). Poseidon gave them a saltwater spring and Athena gave them the world's first olive tree. The Athenians chose Athena, preferring olives to saltwater. In any event, Athena would NEVER, under any circumstances...

1. Marry an heir of Poseidon.

2. Become a mermaid.

3. Get herself killed trying to retrive a singing locket. She's the goddess of WISDOM, remember?

A better choice would have been Cymothoe, an ACTUAL consort of Triton.

  • Sadly, the Greeks missed the chance to have an Ursula (poor Greeks), but Disney's concept for her is so creative I'm including it as legitimate historical background:

Ursula was the sister of Triton (and, by extension, so is Morgana--but she is a static villain, so I'm skipping her). That would make Poseidon her father and the unnamed cecaelia seen briefly in a deleted scene from The Little Mermaid II her mother. Evidently, these two died long ago and left their children their symbols of power--The Nautilus shell, which went to Ursula, and the Trident, which went to Triton. They were supposed to rule the sea together, but when Ursula discovered dark magic, she tried to steal Triton's power and he overthrew her instead, exiling her from Atlantica forever.

I think Athena was killed by Ursula causing the mermaids to dislike humans. That's horrible.