If you’re a big fan of the lore that has accumulated about the gods of ancient Greece, you’ll know that this group of gods weren’t the most functional, with drama to rival the likes of the Kardashians. It has a fair share of tragedies, tragedies, and some that aren’t so much of a tragedy.

One such ‘okay’ stories is the unlikely love between Hades, the god of the underworld and Persephone, god of the spring. The story tells of Hades, who falls madly in love (at first sight) hatches a plan and kidnaps Persephone to the underworld, leaving her lamenting mother, the goddess Demeter, devastated and alone.

But turns out, Stockholm syndrome isn’t that bad, as Persephone and Hades fall in love. But Demeter, unwilling to let her daughter go ends up with a compromise, where some months of the year Persephone spends time with her mother (causing springtime and when everything is fertile), and the rest of the year with Hades (causing cold winters when she’s not around). The most entertaining explanation between the changing seasons.

The story is a goldmine to work with and one very talented artist named Rachel Smythe from New Zealand has done just that with her hit web-comic series named Lore Olympus.

Being a fan of reading Webtoons, the name Lore Olympus is a name I’m quite familiar with, but never really paid much attention to. I had my own stuff to do. But this past weekend I had a few hours to spare, and who wouldn’t want to open up the most popular title on the platform to see what was the excitement all about. With over 1.1 billion views and six million subscribers, Lore Olympus is a big deal. There’s even talk of the title being adapted into an animated series as well.Turns out, there was a lot to be excited about Lore Olympus. And there really is no surprise that it’s as popular as it has become since it first appeared on the platform around the year 2018.

The lore

There are a lot of things that immediately hooked me into the story of Lore Olympus. Although the original story is still faithfully followed, a lot of creative liberty has been taken to make things a little more interesting. There is still the romance between Hades and Persephone, but now in a different lens.

In fact, all of the gods of Olympus are rehashed in fresh lenses, often following popular tropes you would normally find in trashy romance novels. This is tastefully used, applied just enough to start-off the story, but with plenty of personality to keep thing entertaining. It is a major accomplishment when even the trashiest of characters are still fun to read.

The soap opera I never knew I needed

You take entertaining characters and the hot bubbly mess of the Olympians who are just as chaotic as an episode of the Bachelor, and you have the recipe for epic drama, and Lore Olympus delivers handsomely. Although I never was a fan to the genre, you could say that this web-comic was my gateway to soap operas and how fun it is to just pick a side, shut your brain off and enjoy the ride.  It really is the soap opera I never knew I needed, and now I can’t get enough of it.

But that doesn’t mean that this doesn’t handle some serious themes. A lot of thought and sensitivity were put into the creation of Lore Olympus, and you can feel it. The story doesn’t attempt to be philosophical, but the characters certainly go through some real issues that many face, and it’s refreshing to see such real, human experiences portrayed in this medium.

Style galore

Being a web-comic, having good artwork is important to keep things interesting, and the style as well as aesthetic of this comic series is one that I was most impressed by. It’s heavily stylised with some great character designs and colour choices. Also, with great fashion sense. The many outfits you find the character in are simply outstanding and you can tell a lot of effort has been undertaken to give every character their own sense of style, with characters constantly updating their wardrobe with new looks, a touch I highly appreciate.

It’s good fun

If you haven’t tried Lore Olympus, I highly recommend you try giving it a read. It’s a roller coaster of a ride, filled with just the right mix of junk-food entertainment and great storytelling, all wrapped up in a neat package with some amazing art and design. Most importantly, it’s completely free to read on the Webtoons app for all devices. There really is no reason to not give it a try, and I’m confident you’ll absolutely love the experience.

By Shanuka Kadupitiyage