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  • Pretty much every piece of media that features the ancient Greek pantheon of gods will gloss over the fact that they're all siblings as not to Squick viewers out. Even the extremely gory God of War games glossed it over.
    • Of course, the fact that most of the gods were bi is always glossed over. Well, at least when it's the men, cuz, ya know.... can't freak out all the straight men reading these tales of badass muscled gods by revealing they liked some man ass too, now can we? Naturally, God Of War glosses over it too, most likely for the previous reasons: they wouldn't want to risk losing sales from their target audience by having Guy-On-Guy action in it.
    • Likewise, the gods' blatant adulteries are toned down. Zeus and Hera love their son Hercules, according to the Disney version. Now go and look up the original!
    • They also tend to ignore Athena's backstory. Particularly the part where her dad ate her mom while she was still pregnant with Athena, who was then born out of her dad's forehead.
    • In some of the more accurate tellings of the famous Hades and Persephone myth, it is implied that Hades did a bit more then simply kidnap Persephone. This often doesn't make it into more modern tellings.
      • There is no accuracy to Greek mythology since most stories have multiple versions, one of which being that Persephone helped plan it all to get away from her mother. And while the story is called the 'Rape of Persephone' it wasn't how we think of rape today. In ancient Greece part of the marriage ceremony was abducting the bride from her home so Hades was, at the time, legally marrying her. Plus they had the healthiest marriage of all the Gods, Hades only tried to cheat once! And the nymph in question was turned into a mint plant by Persephone before anything happened so they have the only no cheating track record
    • Most modern retellings of Theseus and the Minotaur fail to mention the fact that the Minotaur was the result of Mino's wife having sex with a bull.
    • Many modern variants say that Aphrodite was born from seafoam. They omit the fact that the foam was actually from the sperm and blood spilled when Cronus castrated his father. And that's not to mention Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, where Hercules calls her "sister".This is, of course, impossible...
      • Depending on the source, that actually can be accurate. Some myths say that Aphrodite is the daughter of Zeus and Dione, making them half-siblings.
    • The Bowdlerisation of the gods' adulteries became a gag in the lost Gilbert and Sullivan play Thespis, in which Daphne, playing Calliope, the Muse of Fame, uses a Bowdlerised classical dictionary to prove that Apollo is her husband:
Cquote1.svg

 Thespis: "Apollo was several times married, among others to Issa, Bolina, Coronis, Chymene, Cyrene, Chione, Acacallis, and Calliope."

Daphne: And Calliope.

Thespis (musing): Ha! I didn't know he was married to them.

Daphne (severely): Sir! This is the Family Edition!

Cquote2.svg
  • Just about every piece of ancient Anglo-Saxon literature we have falls to this. Seeing as the Anglo-Saxon's passed their stories on verbally, they would have all disappeared if it was not for the Christian monks who wanted the region converted. The monks recorded the Anglo-Saxon stories but inserted heavy religous bias. Two particularly egregious examples of this are in Beowulf and in the poem "The Seafarer". In the former, a hedonistic, bloodthirsty warrior with a God-complex is portrayed as a God fearing paladin of sorts. Meanwhile, the latter represents the last third of one of the most depressing ancient poems of all time, (about a man's inability to find any contentment/his battle against his lot in life,) as a praise song where the author revels in the glory of his creator. Never mind that Christian philosophy counteracts every major theme in these stories. Fate vs. free will. Materialism and living in the moment vs. spiritual rewards and living for an eternal future. I guess the monks thought that no-one would notice?
  • In Egyptian mythology, Atum supposedly created Shu and Tefnut by ejaculating into his own mouth. Cleaner versions have had him simply spit on the ground and they were created from his saliva.
    • That's nothing. People are fairly familiar with the story of how Set murdered Osiris to get his throne only to be thwarted by Osiris' son Horus, but most people don't know how it was done. Set attempted to prove his worthiness before the other gods by anally raping Horus, but Horus reached between his legs and caught Set's semen, throwing it into the Nile. Horus proceeded to masturbate into a salad, which Set ate without knowing about the special sauce. When it came time for Set to prove his dominance over Horus, the gods commanded Set's semen to speak. When the voice came from the Nile, the gods then commanded Horus' semen to speak, and imagine Set's state of mind when his stomach started talking to him. That is how Horus avenged his father upon Set. The Egyptians were totally perverted.
      • One version says that they had intercural (thigh) sex and Set (or Seth) wanted Horus to catch the semen. He did and Horus' mom saw the mess, cut off her son's hands and threw them into the river. She then put her son's semen into Set's salad and the rest you know.
  • Plato was the Ur-Bowdleriser; in The Republic he explains how, in an ideal city, myths and epics would be edited to remove all mentions of gods and heroes doing bad or treacherous things, or even insulting each other, because gods are supposed to be unambiguously good (a very Platonic notion Homer would have had a hard time to comprehend) and that would be a bad example for the citizens. Knowing the nature of most Greek gods and heroes, he would have had a lot of work to say the least...
    • Arguably, it goes back even further than that; Xenophanes, a pre-Socratic philosopher, took great issue with Hesiod's Theogony (the poem which synthesised most of the myths about the Greek gods which which we're familiar today) for its characterisation of the gods as violent, cheating, debauched psychopaths, claiming such qualities were inappropriate for gods. It's arguable, though, because rather than proposing simply that these accounts be watered down, he instead called for an end to all anthropomorphism of the gods, to be replaced with something that would probably nowadays be classified as monotheism.
  • The Grimms introduced the Wicked Stepmother into "Snow White" and "Hansel and Gretel" in order to Bowdlerise them; the original edition featured cruel mothers.
    • Also, what gives "Rapunzel" away is changed from pregnancy to a Freudian Slip due to objections to her premarital sex with the prince; a pointless gesture, really, since she still bears his children before they meet again, let alone marry.
    • In the original version of "Sleeping Beauty", the prince had to do a lot more than just give her a kiss.
      • And even then she kept on sleeping, either because the curse was that powerful, or because the prince was, well, unimpressive.
      • It took something like GIVING BIRTH TO TWINS to wake her up.
      • Her twins were placed on her breast to suckle right after birth. One of them latched onto her thumb instead and sucked out the splinter that was keeping her asleep, and it wasn't until then that she woke up.
      • Some versions even have her eating the twins in a fit of anger. You don't see any of that in Disney, do you?
  • In Arthurian stories geared toward children, several major elements of the legend tend to be left out, most notably Arthur sleeping with his half-sister Morgause (and producing Mordred!) and Uther's by-trickery seduction of Igraine. This editor has read of at least one story where Lancelot and Guinevere's affair was left out entirely.
    • Which could just mean they're based on earlier versions of the legend, which had no such thing.
  • In the older version of "The Three Little Pigs", the big bad wolf torments and then eats the first two pigs, and is later boiled alive after he tries to climb down the third pig's chimney. Some modern re-tellings have the first two pigs managing to escape and making it to the brick house, where the smart pig manages to scare off the wolf by causing him a minor injury (a burnt hand, for example) or the wolf simply passes out from exhaustion brought on by the exertion of trying to blow the house down.
  • In Ferdowsi's revision of Ancient Persian tales, the Shahnameh everytime the stunningly beautiful (and of course, virgin) daughter of a king falls in love with "Rostam" she begs him to marry her. In his BEDROOM, which she has sneaked into at MIDNIGHT.
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