For today’s post, I want to take a look at the connection between the Greek Goddess Eris and the Dark Faery Maleficent. On the surface, it may seem that Eris and Maleficent are totally unique figures. Eris is the Goddess of Strife, who delighted in battle and was often seen beside her brother Ares during wars. Maleficent is a Faery with great dark magic, who used it to punish those who insulted her.
The connection I see is that both created the greatest major action within their tale during a day of festivities. Eris threw the apple of discord during a wedding ceremony to which she was not invited. Likewise, Maleficent cursed the baby Aurora during her christening, to which she was also left off the guest list!
Going a bit deeper, we can see that both figures are the cause of the significant action of the story arc. They literally set the story into motion! Eris with her apple of discord laid the seeds for what would become the Trojan War. Maleficent’s actions at the beginning of Sleeping Beauty would lead to the curse taking effect on Aurora and her own demise!
These very powerful women both had malice in their hearts. Eris was literally the Goddess of Strife and Discord and Maleficent’s name is literally derived from malice. Both seem to desire to cause trouble for what may seem to be small slights, not getting an invite to a party does seem to be a small thing to cause such great pain later! It may also show them to be wicked to their core, or more likely greatly misunderstood!
In the past, I have stated how much I adore the Maleficent films for giving us an understandable backstory to this villain. Likewise, I feel that Eris was not simply reacting to one slight, but several. She was often pushed off to the side due to her regularly causing trouble, as it was her way. I think she got fed up and decided to really play into her role as Goddess of Strife at that wedding! I do not know if we will one day get a book or film with Eris as a redeemable figure, but it would be an interesting endeavor to try to make that happen.
I hope that you have enjoyed this short post on Eris and Maleficent. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is an Eris and Maleficent collage. I found the image on https://www.fanpop.com/clubs/childhood-animated-movie-villains/images/35495744/title/non-disney-villains-photo.
- Sleeping Beauty by The Brothers Grimm
- Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault
- Mythology by Edith Hamilton
- The Iliad by Homer
- Sleeping Beauty (1959)
- Maleficent (2014)
- Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)
- Troy (2004)