When Menelaus called on the suitors to help him bring Helen back from Troy after Paris, son of King Priam, had taken her, Sparta's king went to Ithaca with Agamemnon and Palamedes. Warned by an oracle that if he went to Troy, he would not until twenty years, alone and destitute, Odysseus tried to avoid to fulfill his oath, pretending madness, plowing his fields and sowing salt instead of grain. Palamedes placed Odysseus' infant son in front of the plow, and Odysseus stopped to avoid injuring the child, revealing his sanity. He agreed to sail to Troy.
Along with Nestor and Ajax, he went to Scyros to find Achilles who had been hidden at Lycomedes's court disguised as a girl by his mother and sea goddess Thetis (who had foresaw his death at Troy). Odysseus was able to trick Achilles into revealing, who decided to join them.
As the war quickly became a siege, Odysseus (along with others such Ajax and Palamedes) doubted, but they were galvanized by Achilles who recalled them of the glory, cattle, gold and women to be taken in Troy. Odysseus also held Palamedes responsible for being there, having tricked him at Ithaca.
Hostility grew between Odysseus and Palamedes. Palamedes was later found drowned while he had gone out fishing, and some stated Odysseus and Diomedes were with him. Odysseus refuted the claim, threatening of murder those who would utters that lie again, leading to whispers that they had indeed killed him. Achilles was also suspected as well.
From nine to ten years later, he protected Ajax at the Scaean Gates as the Greater retrieved the lifeless body of Achilles, and slew many Trojans in doing so.
During Achilles' funeral, Thetis offered his armor to the man who rescued his body, and Odysseus contested Ajax's claim, stating that without him, Ajax would had been killed as well. Ajax proposed that Nestor, Idomeneus and Agamemnon would decide, but Nestor highlighted the fact that the loser would be wrathful, and so Agamemnon designated high-born Trojan captives decide, who awarded the armor to Odysseus.
Ajax was enraged, and at night was touched with madness by Athena, goddess of wisdom, who loved Odysseus well. Athena caused him to kill himself. In the morning, Odysseus honored his body but refused to take the blame for his death.
Under the priest and seer Calchas' instruction, Odysseus went to a temple of Apollo where he found Priam's son Helenus, a prophet. Threatening him, he asked him how to take Troy. Helenus replied that he had to steal the Palladium (Athena's image) from her temple, and the Bow of Heracles had to loose arrows against Troy. Odysseus understood that he had to retrieve Philoctetes who had been left behind on an island after he had been wounded during the crossing of the Aegean Sea. Odysseus returned with Philoctetes, who killed Paris in an arches duel. As Helenus also decreed that the war would come to an end only the son of Achilles fought besides the Achaeans, Odysseus and Diomedes went to Scyros to find Neoptolemus. Odysseus gave him his father's armor.
The Wooden Horse
Despite their victories, the Achaeans didn't managed to breach the city. One midnight, Athena came in dreams to Epeius, asking to build a massive wooden horse, then burn the camps and sail away to Tenedos.
Odysseus, helped by Loki (who had fell through a portal along with Thor and found themselves in the middle of the Trojan War) devised that the horse would be hollow and filled of soldiers, and it would be presented as an offering to appease the wrath of Athena after stealing the Palladium.
To fulfill Helenus' prophecy, Achilles infiltrated Troy, disguised as a disfigured beggar, to steal the Palladium. He was recognized by Helen who swore to not betray him. Wishing to return to Menelaus, Helen helped Odysseus stole the Palladium. Some say Diomedes assisted him as well. Odysseus killed many Trojans and learned much about the city's fortifications, then returned.
Once the Wooden Horse ready, the chosen warriors entered it, the ships left to Tenedos and the camp was burned down. The Trojans came to collect the offering, and Sinon was left behind to trick the Trojans. Once the night came and the Trojans were asleep, Sinon sent the signal for the fleet to return, and awoke the soldiers inside the Horse (Odysseus, Menelaus, Diomedes and Anticlus, among others), for them to slaughter the guards, open the doors to the Achaean army and invade the city.
In the morning, the Trojans were rounded up, and Odysseus, supported by Calchas, stated that Hector's infant son Astyanax was to be killed to prevent his future vengeance, and so Odysseus threw him from the city's walls, against his mother Andromache's complaints.
Odysseus' return from Troy took ten years and was beset by perils and misfortune. He freed his men from the pleasure-giving drugs of the Lotus-Eaters, rescued them from the cannibalism of the Cyclops Polyphemus on the Hidden Isle.
He braved the terrors of Hades, the Underworld with them, and while in the land of the dead Hades allowed Teiresias, Odysseus' mother, Ajax and others to give him advice on his next journey. With this newly acquired knowledge, he steered them past the perils of the Sirens and of Scylla and Charybdis He could not save them from their final folly, however, when they violated divine commandments by slaughtering and eating the cattle of the sun-god. As a result of this rash act, Odysseus' ship was destroyed by a thunderbolt, and only Odysseus himself survived. He came ashore on the island of the nymph Calypso, who made him her lover and refused to let him leave for seven years. When Zeus finally intervened, Odysseus sailed away on a small boat, only to be shipwrecked by another storm. He swam ashore on the island of the Phaeacians, where he was magnificently entertained and then, at long last, escorted home to Ithaca.
There were problems in Ithaca as well, however: During Odysseus' twenty-year absence, his wife, Penelope, had remained faithful to him, but she was under enormous pressure to remarry. A whole host of suitors were occupying her palace, drinking and eating and behaving insolently to Penelope and her son, Telemachus. Odysseus arrived at the palace, disguised as a ragged beggar, and observed their behavior and his wife's fidelity. With the help of Telemachus and Laertes, he slaughtered the suitors and cleansed the palace. He then had to fight one final battle, against the outraged relatives of the men he had slain; Athena intervened to settle this battle, however, and peace was restored.
Powers and Abilities
- When the Romans retold the story of the Trojan War, they used the Latin name "Ulysses" for Odysseus.
- 23 appearance(s) of Odysseus (Earth-616)
- 9 mention(s) of Odysseus (Earth-616)
- 7 image(s) of Odysseus (Earth-616)