Book 5 – In which Odysseus thinks he knows best, but he’s actually an idiot.

'Err, lil' help?' Leocothea by Waterhouse.

‘Err, lil’ help?’ Leocothea by Waterhouse.

Books 1-4 have dealt with Telemachus and his quest to go and find his dad, for book 5, we cut to Mount Olympus. Athene tells Zeus how she feels sorry for Sean Bean (sorry, Odysseus) and that he should convince Calypso to convince her to let him go. He sends Hermes down to have a word with her.

Odysseus has spent his days in Calypso’s plush house, which from Homer’s description, sounds a bit like Liberace’s, eating nice food and having sex with her. However, he does a lot of sitting on the beach and being sad, as he wants to get home to his mortal wife. Calypso is a bit peeved he still misses Penelope, and he explains to her that of course she’s not as attractive as Calypso and of course, as a mortal will get old and wrinkly (best not repeat that in Penelope’s hearing) but he still wants to go home. With some influence from Zeus via Hermes, she decides to have sex with him one more time, then let him go. Not just that, she builds him a boat and packs him a picnic. Ahh, bless.

Bean on the beach, thinking about how great it it would be to get home to his wife, Penelope, who probably has lower standards than Calypso.

Bean on the beach, thinking about how great it it would be to get home to his wife, Penelope, who probably has lower standards than Calypso.

Poseidon wasn’t at the meeting with the other gods, and he doesn’t like Odysseus, so he starts battering his raft with all kinds of waves. Ino, a human queen who turned into the goddess Leucothea, and who according to Homer had beautiful ankles, feels sorry for him, and gives him a veil to tie around himself which will stop him from downing (an orange, inflatable veil, I presume), and says if he just gets off the raft, the waves will take him safely to his destination, Scheria, the island of the Phaeacians, and then he must throw back the veil. However, Odysseus is a man, and decides he knows better than the goddess with the sexy ankles (tsk, tsk), and all the while the boat holds together it is where he’ll stay. Just then, a giant wave wrecks the boat (ha!), and he has to follow Leucothea’s advice. Athena then has a word with the winds, and he is indeed guided safely to land, and after some fuss about climbing some rocks, throws back the veil, and lays on the ground, ever so glad to have survived. I once felt like that after a bad trip on the Isle of Wight hovercraft.

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