Cetus the Sea Dragon

Cetus, derived from Ketos, is the Latin name given to multiple sea monsters that appear in Greek mythology, from a serpentine dragon to a blubbering whale monster.

There are two primary tales regarding this creature, and though they feature different characters, the stories are quite similar.  In the first, Queen Cassiopeia boasted that her daughter, Andromeda, was more beautiful than any of the Nereides, sea nymphs that made up Poseidon’s retinue.  As punishment, Poseidon sent the sea monster, Cetus, to ravage the land.  In order to appease the sea-god, Andromeda was left on the rocks as a sacrificial offering to the sea dragon.  Luckily, Perseus was returning from slaying Medusa, and he swooped in on Pegasus to save the girl, slaying the dragon by turning it to stone.

In the second, very similar tale, Poseidon had hidden in human form and helped King Laomedon build the walls of Troy.  When the king refused to pay Poseidon for his help, the sea-god sent Cetus as punishment.  Again, it was decided that the only way to get rid of the monster was to offer the king’s daughter as a sacrifice.  (It never bodes well for princesses, does it?)  This time, the hero Hercules swoops in to save the day and slays the beast.

Cetus can also be found amongst the constellations, though his form in the stars is that of the gigantic whale monster.  He lies in the region of the sky where several other water-related constellations are, such as Aquarius and Pisces.

In the movie Clash of the Titans, Cetus is interpreted as the Kraken, an even more massive whale of a monster.


In Elemental Magic, Cetus is more serpentine like the dragons in the first two pictures.  He’s also quite intelligent, the last of his kind tucked away under a spell until an evil alchemist releases him.

The silhouette against the backdrop of stars was tall and thin, at least compared to the width of a whale. That wasn’t to say it wasn’t incredibly large. It loomed at least seven feet over the top of the ship. Keenan swept the spotlight over it, and I caught a flash of teeth bared in a menacing sneer and bright, blue-green scales. Eyes glowered gold with the reflection of the light.

No. Freakin’. Way.

And, just as in the above tales, poor Cetus is forced to follow orders and wreak havoc along the coast.  I won’t tell you what happens to him though.  You’ll have to read the book.  😉

Do you have a favorite interpretation of Cetus?  If you saw the new Clash of the Titans, how’d you like the Kraken?  With the hero stories being so similar, are you for Perseus or Hercules?

15 comments on “Cetus the Sea Dragon

  1. I love seeing how you’ve taken the myth and given it a little twist in your book. So very cool 🙂 Although I normally prefer Hercules over Perseus, I like the story better where Perseus uses Medusa’s head to turn the monster to stone.

  2. I loved your Cetus. The Kraken was hideous and too big. I also loved that your ‘princess’ didn’t have to be saved by a hero, she did her own saving! That’s not giving anything away, is it? If so, then delete that part. 😉

  3. I haven’t seen the new Clash of the Titans movie, the first was bad enough, LOL. I love your Cetus. Fascinating post Angela 🙂

  4. Susan A. says:

    I’m going to try and word this in a way that doesn’t give spoilers on your book, lol.

    Cetus is a great character in your novel and definitely adds a fantastical element that shapes the story in a unique way. For all the bad he has to do, there is something to be admired about his raw power and mysticism!

    Thanks for sharing the history. I enjoyed reading more about this legendary creature.

  5. Ali Dent says:

    I love dragons. There is one in my tale. I didn’t know there was a dragon constellation. That makes me want to study the sky and find him.

    • I love dragons too, Ali. I still have all my little dragon figurines from when I was a kid, still sitting on my shelves. Is your dragon good or evil? Or somewhat in-between, like Cetus?

  6. Jillian Dodd - Glitter, Bliss and Perfect Chaos says:

    I love the pretty pictures on your blog post today. They match your new design! And I liked both Clash and Wrath of the Titans. I was raving about it and someone was like it’s bloody and horrible. I realized I was distracted by shirtlessness.

  7. Angela, the new blog design is great. Love it.
    I am such a mythology nut that I read, research and so much enjoy any bit of Greek, Roman, Egiptian, Celtic and other mythologies that I can put my hands on. Thank you for posting such fun blog about Trojan Sea monster 🙂

    • Thanks, Angela. 😀 I love mythology too. I try to find somewhat unique ones to adapt for my books. Can’t wait to write about the one I’m currently writing. 😉 And in the future, if I get stuck, I might call you up and say, “throw me a good one.”

  8. […] often depicts them riding various sea creatures, from dolphins to sea monsters such as Cetus.  In addition to having power over the sea, they inherited the ability to shape shift from their […]

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