Who Inhabits the Odyssey?

Homer’s universe is replete with lively creatures of various kinds.

They all appear exactly when they’re needed (despite complaints to the contrary) and they fulfill their roles, which perfectly fit them, in their own individual ways.

Meet all the Characters below:




Olympian gods appearing in the Odyssey


Group A

The following gods appear in-person. They interact with each other and with the Heroes. Their interventions move the story forward:
Zeus - eagle, sacred animal                 Athena - owl, sacred animal         Hermes - ram, sacred animal

               Zeus                                   Poseidon                               Athena                                 Hermes


Group B

The following gods appear within a myth sung by the Phaeacian bard, Demodokos.

It is the story of how the goddess of lust and love cheated on her husband, blacksmith Hephaistos, for the robust embrace of warrior-god Ares. The husband, notified, sets up a brilliant trap and the lovers are caught. A couple other gods comment on the events.

Aphrodite Ares Hephaistos Apollo 


Group C

The following goddess is mentioned a few times in passing, usually as killing mortals w/ her arrows, and she once appears very subtly as an allusion (Odysseus’ speech to maiden-Princess Nausicaa). She has an interesting personality and she holds key divine functions in women’s lives.



Other gods

Helios (Sun)

Persephone (Mistress of Hades)


Water deities

Calypso (She who Covers)

Proteus (Lord of sea beasts – seals)

Leucothea (White Goddess)



alive – dead


Monsters & Weird Creatures

Gorgo (Medusa’s head, dead // power: petrifies those beholding it)

Polyphemus (Cyclop, son of Poseidon & Tho’ossa)

Sirens (bird-women, daughters of River Achelous // power: allure sailors w/ their song)



Laestrygonians (giant people living at Telepylos)



Could we count Water as a “Character” in the Odyssey?