While there is some variation depending on the source, Persephone is the daughter of Zeus
, king of the gods, and Demeter. Demeter is always recognized as connected to agriculture; sometimes the goddess of grains, sometimes of farming, and sometimes simply with growing things. In most versions of the myth, Persephone does not have a real function or place in the pantheon of gods. She is young, pretty, innocent, and a daughter of Zeus.
Her story really starts when she goes to the Underworld
. In some tellings, she seeks shelter in a cave during a storm, and upon exploring, finds that she is in the Underworld. Once there, Hades
finds her so attractive that he keeps her there to be his bride. In other stories, Hades rises from the Underworld and simply takes Persephone by force. Regardless, Demeter discovers where her daughter is, and that Hades intends to marry Persephone. In a combination of rage and sorrow she causes the crops to die, and swears that until her daughter is returned, the crops will not grow.
Zeus eventually intervenes and gets Persephone returned to her mother. However, during her time in Hades, Persephone had eaten several seeds from a pomegranate. As with many myths, the number of seeds and the reason for her eating them changes; Regardless, by some law that the gods follow, this meant that for some amount of time each year, Persephone had to return to Hades. During that time, the crops wither and die. Other than her roles as Queen of the Underworld, and some of the rights and controls granted over the dead, Persephone is not known to have any special abilities such as super speed, enhanced wisdom, or any other gifts that gods are often described as having.
In Video Games God of War: Chains of Olympus
Persephone is still recognized as the queen of the Underworld in this game. Little to no mention is made of her coming and going from Hades for some part of the year; the implication is that she is permanently stuck as the queen of the Underworld. The player finds out that Persephone feels cheated and betrayed by the gods, as she is the only one (besides the Titans) stuck in one place for the rest of time. It is this anger that has led her to hatch the plot that the player uncovers in Chains of Olympus. In her regular incarnation, Persephone displays the same lack of special abilities as her mythological counterpart. In her final form, she displays several abilities:
- Winged flight
- Levitation of small chunks of earth
- A green energy attack that shows up as a pit, a globe, or a beam depending on the moment.