In Greek myth, it is the literal fleece of a golden-haired, winged ram that was sired by Poseidon upon a nymph named Theophane. It was retrieved by Jason, of the Argonauts, as a show of proof to King Pelias that he is the rightful heir to the throne of Iolcus in Thessaly.
God of War IIIEditUpon retrieving the Fleece from the Cerberus, Kratos becomes able to not only block and counter enemy attacks, but to also deflect enemy projectiles and throw them back at his attackers. The Fleece is incredibly useful in situations involving large groups of enemies including Gorgons. If a Gorgon uses its stone stare and Kratos successfully deflects it, every enemy on screen will turn to stone, including the one who cast the attack. After obtaining it, Kratos must then use the Fleece to solve various puzzles on the Island of Creation, which mainly consist of reflecting the beams of statues blocking his path. The Fleece can also be a very useful item in fights against bosses such as Euryale's beams,Perseus' slingshots, Lahkesis' magic and Zeus' bolts. The Golden Fleece is actually 3 separate pieces of armor.
In God of War III, Kratos still wears the Fleece, using it in the same way as the previous game. It is undamaged by his trip through the River Styx (unlike the Blades of Athena), although it does lose most of its abilities. The Fleece's growth is tied to the Blades of Exile, gaining new moves as the weapons are leveled up. Like most of Kratos' items and weapons, the Fleece was finally destroyed whenZeus' spirit launched a surprise attack on the Ghost of Sparta.
- The Fleece is powerful enough to deflect a blow from the Blade of Olympus itself.
- During the God of War II demo, the Fleece had a different model, sporting small spikes and only covering part of Kratos' arm. Instead of ripping it out from the cerberus, he took it from a pedestal.
- Interestingly, the Golden Fleece has a spot of blood on it in God of War III. The reasons for this are unknown, although this could be because the developers didn't have the necessary tools to make this spot appear in God of War II, and they had to abandon it. It is probably from Jason's arm, the Mole Cerberus' body, or any of the many bloody battles Kratos participated in.
- In God of War III, Zeus wears a similarly designed armlet on his left arm, somewhat fitting since Kratos wears the Golden Fleece on his right arm. It is very likely that this is Zeus' Aegis.
- Deimos wears an armlet similar to the Golden Fleece on his right shoulder.
Kratos also wears the Golden Fleece during his appearance in Mortal Kombat. Much like in God of War II and God of War III, it is able to reflect almost all forms of projectiles and counter against physical attacks.
- In God of War II, during the cutscene when Kratos had a vision of his wife, the fleece is on his arm, but in one instance, the fleece is gone.
- In God of War III, the Golden Fleece still keeps its power even after Kratos swam through the River Styx, but in a much lesser degree. As Kratos' blades are level 1, it only can reflect projectiles and Gorgon beams. The power of the Fleece is now more connected with his blades than it was in God of War II.
- The Fleece was constituted of 3 main parts: The upper shoulder section, at the side of Kratos' head, the biceps section and the lower arm section. The design seen in the two lower parts resemble to horn images, representing the animal which the fleece came from (In the original mythology): The ram. While in-game all the 3 parts can be seen, in some cutscenes, the lower arm section is not there anymore.
- The Golden Fleece appears in the God of War demake Bit of War.
- In God of War Ascension, the Armor of Morpheus has the upper section of the Golden Fleece on both shoulders
In Greek mythology, the Golden Fleece (Greek: χρυσόμαλλον δέρας chrysómallon déras) is the fleece of the gold-hair winged ram, which was held in Colchis. It figures in the tale of the hero Jason and his band of Argonauts, who set out on a quest for the fleece by order of King Pelias, in order to place Jason rightfully on the throne of Iolcus in Thessaly. The story is of great antiquity and was current in the time of Homer (eighth century BC). It survives in various forms, among which details vary.
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Athamas the Minyan, a founder of Halos in Thessaly but also king of the city of Orchomenusin Boeotia (a region of southeastern Greece), took as his first wife the cloud goddess Nephele. They had two children, the boy Phrixus (whose name means "curly"—as in ram's fleece) and the girl Helle. Later Athamas became enamored of and married Ino, the daughter of Cadmus. When Nephele left in anger, drought came upon the land.
Ino was jealous of her stepchildren and plotted their deaths: in some versions, she persuaded Athamas that sacrificing Phrixus was the only way to end the drought. Nephele, or her spirit, appeared to the children with a winged ram whose fleece was of gold. The ram had been sired by Poseidon in his primitive ram-form upon Theophane, a nymph and the granddaughter of Helios, the sun-god. According to Hyginus, Poseidon carried Theophane to an island where he made her into an ewe, so that he could have his way with her among the flocks. There Theophane's other suitors could not distinguish the ram-god and his consort.
Nepheles' children escaped on the winged ram over the sea, but Helle fell off and drowned in the strait now named after her, the Hellespont. The ram spoke to Phrixus, encouraging him,and took the boy safely to Colchis (modern-day Georgia), on the easternmost shore of theEuxine (Black) Sea.
Phrixus settled in the house of Aeetes, son of Helios the sun-Titan, where he lived to a ripe old age. He hung the Golden Fleece reserved from the sacrifice of the ram on an oak in a grove sacred to Ares, the god of war and one of the Twelve Olympians. There it was guarded by a dragon. It remained until Jason came and took it.
Evolution of plot[edit source]Edit
Pindar employed the quest for the Golden Fleece in his Fourth Pythian Ode (written in 462 BC), though the fleece is not in the foreground. When Aeetes challenges Jason to yoke the fire-breathing bulls, the fleece is the prize: "Let the King do this, the captain of the ship! Let him do this, I say, and have for his own the immortal coverlet, the fleece, glowing with matted skeins of gold".
In later versions of the story, the ram is said to have been the offspring of the sea god Poseidon and Themisto (less often, Nephele or Theophane). The classic telling is theArgonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes, composed in mid-third century BC Alexandria, recasting early sources that have not survived. Another, much less-known Argonautica, using the same body of myth, was composed in Latin by Valerius Flaccus during the time of Vespasian.
Where the written sources fail, through accidents of history, sometimes the continuity of a mythic tradition can be found among the vase-painters. The story of the Golden Fleece appeared to have little resonance for Athenians of the Classic age, for only two representations of it on Attic-painted wares of the fifth century have been identified: a krater at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and akylix in the Vatican collections. In the kylix painted by Douris, ca 480-470, Jason is being disgorged from the mouth of the dragon, a detail that does not fit easily into the literary sources; behind the dragon, the fleece hangs from an apple tree. Jason's helper in the Athenian vase-paintings is not Medea— who had a history in Athens as the opponent of Theseus— but Athena.