Greek Myths That Need More Retellings

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about fairytales retellings, which got me thinking about all the other daring and classic adventures that deserved the spotlight, and my mind went straight to Greek mythology. It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with the wonderful world that is Greek mythology! These tales of heroic adventures, love and Godly disputes will always be some of my favourites, but now I want more! Growing up, I fell head over heels with Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series and would have given anything to be sent to Camp Half-Blood for the summer. So while I waited for my ticket to Long Island, I spent my summers going on make-believe quests with my friends and pretending I was either the daughter of Zeus or Athena.

Fast forward ten years later, and I still can’t resist a book that has even a hint of mythology, I love it! In recent years, we’ve seen a rise in the number of books that share and explore the unheard stories of mythological characters as well as many of the women, girls and goddesses who have often been silenced or cast into the background. One of my go-to authors for Greek mythology is the wonderful Madeline Miller, and if you haven’t read any of her books yet, then you are missing out. Circe is full of delicate and divine layers of love, heartbreak and acceptance and, then we have the enchanting masterpiece that is The Song of Achilles, that book emotionally destroyed me but in a good way! Next on my TBR is A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes, but there are so many other tales that also need to be appreciated and transformed into powerful retellings for everyone to enjoy!

This has been another one of my favourite posts to write this year, and it’s even inspired me to start writing and planning some potential retellings based on misrepresented figures in mythology that I hope to share one day! So if you’re up for the challenge or are looking for a new writing prompt, then I challenge you to adapt one of your favourite myths.

Persephone, Queen of the Underworld – I’d sell my soul to read a Persephone retelling by Madeline Miller! One day Persephone, daughter of Demeter, is kidnapped by Hades and taken to the underworld to become Queen. I’m a sucker for a good-old enemies to lovers trope, but I’d also love to read a classic retelling that focuses on both Hades’ unrequited love for Persephone and Persephone’s journey to becoming the powerful Queen of the Underworld. In a lot of adaptations, Persephone is presented as being a whiny and frail woman, but there’s so much more to her story, she is a complex character that has so much potential and who’s strength and power deserves to be represented more in literature. She’s the Queen of the dead, you can’t any more badass than that!

Ida and Marpessa – This is a love story that even has a happily ever after, a rarity in mythology! Marpessa was the only daughter of Evenus, king of Etolia, so when it came to finding a husband, Evenus announced that any prince who wants to marry Marpessa would have to defeat him in a chariot race. Idas, the prince of Messenia, won the race, but Evenus refused to give up his daughter, so Idas did what any heartbroken man in mythology would do and kidnapped her. But Idas wasn’t the only man who wanted to wed Marpessa. The God Apollo had fallen for her and once again precede to kidnap her! After a clashing of swords, Zeus made Marpessa choose between the two suitors. She knew Apollo would be unfaithful and chose a simple but committed relationship with Idas and lived happily ever after.

The Three Sisters of Fate – When you think about the three sisters of fate, your mind probably jumps to the classic depiction of three ancient, decrepit and bickering sisters that control our hero’s fate, but they’re so much more than that! Although the trio is a package deal, each sister is unique and is responsible for one of the three phases. Clotho is the creatress. She sits on her pedestal, twisting, pulling, and spinning the threads of life. Then there’s Lachesis, who is responsible for deciding the details of our destiny, and finally, we have the eldest Atropos who makes the final cut. The whole idea surrounding the threads of fate and destinies fascinates me and is another storyline that holds so much potential. These women hold so much power and responsibility that has never been fully explored. Their word is final, but what would happen if they played with destiny or saved someone destined for death…

The Danaides – This myth is intense and follows the story of fifty women who commit a horrible by killing their husbands on their wedding night by order of their father and motive fuelled by revenge and greed! However, one of the girls, Hypermnestra, did not commit this horrible crime and spared her husband out of pity. As for the other forty-nine girls, they were forced to endure an eternity of torment for their unspeakable crimes.

Leto, the Mother of Apollo and Artermis – Zeus is a serious womaniser, and I’d love to read something from the perspective of the heart-broken lover, in this case, Leto. But Leto is more than just a broken-hearted woman, she is a strong and independent mother who endures so much suffering and misfortune caused by Hera’s jealousy, and it is Leto’s strength and power that protects her and children from harm. She is forced to endure NINE days of labour, as well as battling many earth-born creatures sent by Hera! Leto is such an underrated and forgotten character from Greek Mythology, and she deserves to have her story told.

The Myth of Arachne – Greek mythology is filled with shapeshifters, Gods who could transform at will and mortals who suffered the unfortunate fate of unwanted and cursed mutations. Such a transformation befell the poor spinner Arachne. Her talent for creating magnificent tapestries was unmatched and attracted the attention of people all over the land. She could often be heard boasting about her skills and declared that her talent surpassed anyone else’s, mortal or divine. Athena heard these claims and planned to teach a girl a lesson by disguising herself as an old woman and berating her in front of a crowd. But Arachne only laughed. Athena then revealed her true form and challenged her to a weaving contest. Athena’s tapestry depicted the strength and power of the gods, whereas Arachne’s showed the gods abusing their power. When Athena saw Arachne’s undeniably beautiful work she flew into a rage and transformed the poor girl into a spider.

The Amazons – You probably know about the legendary Amazons from the epic that was Wonder Woman, but if not, then let me fill you in! The Amazons were the daughters of Ares (the God of War) and were a race of warlike women noted for their riding skills, courage and pride, who lived on the outer limits of the known world. These legendary leading ladies deserve to have their story told, and I’d love to learn more about their battles against the Greeks and other male heroes.

Pandora’s box – According to legend, Pandora was the first human woman, breathed into being by Hephaestus, the God of fire. She was blessed with the gifts of language, craftsmanship, emotion and finally, the gift of curiosity from Zeus and a locked box whose contents could never be seen by human eyes. Pandora thrived in the world, but her thoughts were always plagued by the mysteries that lay within the box. Its enigma soon became maddening as her obsession with the box grew, until one day its presence became too overwhelming, and Pandora finally opened the box. Monstrous creatures and other evils escaped the darkness of the box and were unknowingly released into the world. This tale battles the duality of curiosity and sparks the debate on whether to encourage human inquiry or to accept that some mysteries are better left untold.

Classic Fairytales That Need More YA Retellings

I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for a good-old fairytale retelling! And what I love even more is watching an author subvert and adapt these classic adventures to create new and exciting storylines that we can’t help but love. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas and Heartless and The Luna Chronicles by Marissa Myers are a perfect examples of this, not only are they both wonderful retellings that only use the basic framework of the original story but they use their characters to create something entirely different and unique.

Growing up Beauty and the Beast was always one of my favourite Disney classics, but after reading so many different retellings I’m getting a little bored of the same old storyline, which breaks my heart because it’s such a beautiful tale! This then got me thinking about all the other incredible and magical stories that have yet to be retold and adapted, so I wanted to share a few of my favourites that I believe need more attention!

This has been one of my favourite posts to write this year, and has even inspired me to start writing some modern day fairytale inspired flash-fiction that I hope to share in the future! So if you’re up for the challenge or are looking for a new writing prompt then I challenge you to adapt one of your favourite fairytales!

I loved re-searching all the different fairytales from around the world, so much so that I’ve had to write an entirely different post about some of my new favourites that I found as well as the Myths that I think need retellings, so keep an eye out for them soon!

And finally, shout out to the Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian Anderson for creating some wonderfully dark fantasy fables!

Peter Pan – This whole idea about not growing up sounds pretty good to me, being an adult is WAY too stressful! This beloved children’s classic has so much potential and I can see it being adapted as both a fantasy but also a contemporary novel. I can also see it as a sci-fi inspired adventure, with Neverland being some distant planet with a secret.

Jack and the Beanstalk – What if Jack found something else at the top of the beanstalk? What if instead of a beanstalk, Jack climbed out of a broken elevator only to find a portal leading to a hidden world?

Rapunzel – Tangled is hands down my favourite Disney film EVER, so it’s only right that I request more Rapunzel inspired reading. I loved Cress by Marissa Myers but I need more, so any recommendations would be great!

Swan Lake – Tchaikovsky’s magical ballet tells the story of the doomed love of Prince Siegfried and Princess Odette. Prince Siegfried goes out hunting one night and chases a group of swans – one of which transforms into a young woman, Odette, who explains that she and her companions were turned into swans by the evil Baron Von Rothbart. The spell can only be broken if someone who has never loved before swears an oath of undying love and promises to marry her. This tale of broken hearts and deception is one that is packed full of drama and one which I could see featuring an enemies-to-lovers-to-enemies dynamic?

The Frog Prince – Another Disney favourite that I’d love to see! If we break it down, the story ultimately revolves around a fatal kiss and from that there is endless opportunity!

The Little Match Girl – This is such a underrated and beautifully heartbreaking story and focuses on a dying child’s dreams and hope. I’d love to see this powerful story used as a narrative to raise attention for youth homelessness.

The Twelve Brothers – One of the lesser known tales by The Brothers Grimm but ultimately is a tale about who should inherit a mighty kingdom. A king wants to kill his twelve sons, but only if his thirteenth child would be a girl. This way, she alone can inherit his kingdom. The Queen warns her son and urges them to escape into the forest where they are forced to live, until they are discovered by their sister years later. I’m a sucker for a fantasy that focuses on a fight for the throne and is another classic fairytale with lots of potential.

A Christmas Nutcracker – A Christmas classic that I’d love to see adapted into a romanic and lighthearted festive contemporary!

The Twelve Dancing Princesses – Aside from the cinematic masterpiece that is Barbie and the Twelve Dancing Princesses, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this story adapted. In short the story follows 12 princesses who are locked away securely every night by the king, but in the morning their dancing shoes are found to be worn through as if they had been dancing all night. Determined to uncover their secret the King offers a reward to anyone who can uncover their whereabouts every night, and is revealed by a solider that every night they escape through a trap door to meet 12 waiting princes and embark on a night of fun and dancing.

Our Favourite Fairy Tale Retellings


I don’t know about you but I’ve always loved a good old fashioned fairytale and when it comes to fairytale retellings, I’m all over them like a rash! I’m currently reading ‘Stealing Snow’ by Danielle Paige and I’m kind of enjoying it but not as much as others but fingers crossed it gets better soon! Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you and feel free to comment down below recommending me some of your favorites!

Cinder – Cinderella as a cyborg! Marissa Meyer is a genius, re-imagining of one of the most popular fairy tales and adapting it to a sci-fi universe. Set in the distant future in New Beijing, we follow the protagonist Cinder across a mysterious adventure uncovering things from her past and future whilst she tries to stay alive as well as handling a tricky love life. We all know the tale of Cinderella and this novel follows it but with many unexpected twists and turns!

Cruel Beauty – Cruel Beauty is a wonderfully written blend of Beauty and the Beast retelling and Greek mythology which is a combination of two of my favorite things and to top it off its characters were equally as wonderful and powerful, especially Nyx. This heart-breaking love story was full of twists and turns as well as sticking to the classic Beauty and the Beast storyline which I really enjoyed.

Dorothy Must Die – As you can possibly figure out from the title, the story is a continuation from the Wizard of Oz but things are very different from where the film/book left. It’s quite some time in the future and we’re introduced to Amy, a young girl in a bit of a situation at home and at school. One night when she’s left home alone a tornado hits, and guess what, her home flies up in the tornado and lands in the magical Oz. However it’s not quite how the book or the film depicted it, everyone is miserable, grey and depressed, the munchkins are slaves and flying monkeys are wingless. So what happened to the Oz Amy grew up loving? Dorothy happened.

Heartless – I’m a huge fan of the Luna Chronicles by Marissa Meyers, so when I heard she was writing something different I got very excited. It follows the backstory of the Queen of Hearts and how she became so evil! This is definitely one of those books where you have to be patient and persevere for a bit as it starts a bit slow however I can guarantee that if you keep reading you won’t be disappointed.

A Court of Thornes and Roses – This is probably one of my favorites on the list as in my eyes Sarah never writes a bad book! Growing up ‘Beaty and the Beast’ was my favorite Disney fairy tale and I thought Sarah’s retelling was unique and nothing short of magical.  All the characters are wonderful especially Feyre who was such a strong and powerful woman who has amazing character development and relationships with other characters if you know what I mean! Pre-warning this book is steamy, I’m not kidding, the chemistry sparks right from the pages and we get some sexy times that made me swoon (Chapter 27, if you know what I mean…).