favourite faces for favourite mythic ladies: Leuce with Mila Kunis
Leuce was a nymph, a daughter of Okeanos, who was carried off by Hades. After her death she was changed into a white poplar in Elysium.
She is not accustomed to the underworld. An ocean-born child who danced among breakers and twisted fearlessly at the edge of Charybdis, Leuce is disquieted by the dead and songless waters that run through the underworld.
She doesn’t warm to Hades, her currents running ever-cold towards her captor. When he tries to ply her with jewels she lets them sink in the false waters. When he tries to kiss her throat she turns her face away. She’ll give him no pleasure he doesn’t have to take. She’ll make nothing easy for her shadowed abductor.
The underworld is dark and, although years pass, Leuce never learns to love it; until the end of her days she longs for the ocean above.
#‘oh my abducted girlfriend died. next time maybe I won’t kidna- heeeey my niece is looking FINE these days’ #some dudes are always trying the same things to get the ladies
Hades does have a pattern. And let’s face it, the only reason he stopped was that Persephone had a very, very different way of controlling the fate that had been given to her. (Not that it makes Leuce’s way any lesser, of course. I kind of want to hurt the people who say that. I have one book, which, while awesome in many ways, goes on about how Leuce was a pale precedent to the great Persephone. And I adore Persephone, but. Their situations were so different, you can’t compare them. Ugh. People annoy me. >:(
Um. I’ll shut up now.)
I’m fascinated by Leuce because there’s so little written about her. Fleeting lines are all that remain but we’ve lost so much writing from ancient Greece and Rome, which just breaks my heart. There are so many beautiful stories that we’ll never know. But I want to know more about Leuce. I wrote here that she was bitter and that she didn’t love him, but none of the text says that. It doesn’t say anything at all about how she felt about him. (It says that he loved her, but that’s not the same thing.) Nor does it say how long she lived in the underworld before dying. For all we know it could have been centuries and they could have been epicly in love.
(I don’t know anything about nymph lifespans as compared to goddesses - are nymphs eternal as well? I think they are, but maybe they aren’t. That might be why kidnapping nymphs to be his wife didn’t work out so well for Pluto/Hades.)
Just… MYTHOLOGY. Absolutely bloody fascinating and frustrating with the massive gaps lying open in it.
I think nymphs are eternal. However not in the same way as Goddesses. Nymphs are the spirits of nature. Wild, and not to be tamed. Which the Gods learn the hard way, (Zeus, Apollo, Poseidon, I’m looking at you). Nature dies but it is always reborn in some form.
Taking a nymph away from her natural habitat, separating her from what defines her, her freedom, you will destroy her. Much as if you took a wild animal from it’s natural habitat; It’s spirit dies.
The Underworld is no place for nature. There is no life there, no sun, no air, nothing that speaks to a nymph’s wild nature. Which is why Leuce probably died slowly. And time in the Underworld has been described as very different from what I can remember. I agree she could have been down there for centuries. But it could have been only days for her.
I think, considering the deaths of other nymphs (which I can only remember a few) they were never really dead. More like transformed into something else. Which is the same with nature, everything dies so it can be reborn, transformed.
I dunno. Just throwing things out there.
That was sort of the thought I had - that nymphs waste away when taken away from their own natural environment. There are underworld nymphs, of course, but those were born there and that is their place - an Oceanid doesn’t belong in the underworld.
After Leuce’s death she was turned into the Poplar tree so she never truly ‘died’ either.