To properly answer the question of why I’m fascinated with The Furies, I’ll have to tell you about the little legend of two friends and egotistical jerks; Theseus and Pirithous.
By Ancient Greek standards, they were considered heroes. As expected, it went straight to their heads and they decided that heroes shouldn’t have to marry mere human girls. They deserved daughters of Zeus.
Theseus picked Helen of Troy. This was before the Trojan wars – that girl got kidnapped more than Daphne.
Since they had a few years to kill before she was of a respectable marrying age, they focused on getting Pirithous his chosen hostage. In true egotistical ‘nice guy’ fashion, he set his eyes on Persephone — because who wants to be the Queen of the Underworld and happily married to, arguably, the only decent husband in Olympus when they can have someone like Pirithous?
As you might imagine, coming into Hades’ backyard and trying to kidnap his wife didn’t go well. These two lonely hearts were stuck to stone chairs and tormented by the Furies until Hercules happened by. He freed Theseus, but while trying to pry Pirithous loose, an earthquake happened clearly explaining that Hades hadn’t gotten over this yet. They left Pirithous to the Furies and he’s presumably still down there.
So, why did this story burn the idea of the Furies into my mind? Because it’s one of the few where they’re ever mentioned. Maybe the others were just lost to history, but either way, their absence is fascinating. And what we’re left with are these creatures that show up, reap some holy, kick-ass vengeance, and then simply peace out. And no one finds it odd.
I also loved how they were normally summoned by the rage of a wronged woman. The idea that those considered the weakest amongst them could summon an unstoppable, unrelenting, force of eye-for-an-eye justice is something that, I feel, needed a lot more attention. It’s like Mickey Mouse having Deadpool on retainer.
When presented with the opportunity to add to Fury lore, I couldn’t stop thinking about all the people who would have been caught in the crossfire. Those innocent bystanders that were pulled into fights that they shouldn’t have been a part of. How could they ask for mercy from creatures too enraged to even consider it?
Hint: Don’t tell them they’re overreacting. Pirithous taught me that.