Eris is the daughter of Zeus, but in some myths, she is identified as the daughter of Nyx. Her influence can be felt in every quarrel, feud and disagreement on the face of the earth and on the heights of Mount Olympus. She is feared and respected for her eternal and unforgiving rage and, though despised by the Olympians, not even they dare to confront her.
The Nereid, Thetis, was given to Peleus (a mortal) because of his undying devotion to the gods on Mount Olympus. Both Zeus and Poseidon had made advances toward her, but learned of a prophecy that stated she would produce a son greater than his father. To protect themselves from this prophecy they married her off to a mortal.. The wedding of Thetis and Peleus was the setting for a defining event which set the stage for the Trojan War. This event has come to be known as The Judgment of Paris although, at that time, it was just another demonstration of the rivalry between the Immortals.
In order to honor Thetis, Hera invited all the Immortals to the wedding. Athena polished an ashen spear which she, Chiron and Hephaestus had fashioned for Peleus. The goddess Eris was in attendance but she did not come to celebrate. She came to do what she does best, cause trouble. Eris cast down a golden apple with the inscription, ‘For the most beautiful one.’ Hera, Athena and Aphrodite all assumed that the prize was for them and when the intended conflict arose, the Trojan prince Paris (Alexandros), was asked to make the final decision as to which goddess deserved the golden apple. Aphrodite promised Paris the hand of the most beautiful mortal woman in Greece, Helen. Paris could not refuse such a prize. He chose Aphrodite as the most beautiful goddess. Hera and Athena never forgave the insult. The walls of Troy toppled and all of Paris’ family paid with their lives for his greed and desire.
In the war for the city of Troy, she rode into battle on the side of the Trojans with her brother and companion, Ares (god of War). She is more generally known for the less deadly forms of conflict; political strife, personal contention, rivalry and wrangling but the potential for evoking her deadly nature is ever present.
At Troy, she was called the Lady of Sorrow and she fought alongside Apollo and Ares in the defense of Aphrodite’s beloved son, Aineias (Aeneas). When the goddess Thetis asked Hephaestus make new armor for her son, Achilles, he forged a shield with a variety of scenes from everyday life. Some scenes were peaceful but most were extremely violent. One of the more bloody depictions on the shield was of Eris fighting in the company of Kydoimos and Kera. Eris was walking through the battle carnage, stained with blood, carrying a wounded man and an unwounded man in her arms and dragging a dead man by his feet.
The children of Eris are the ultimate instigators of drama. They are often behind the scenes causing as much strife as possible. Despite the fact that they prefer to be leaders, the children of Eris are strong in battle. Their ability to lead troops have made them strong leaders in many famous armies.