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In this alternate world, demigods were human beings which gained divinity from a divine parent. A male deity would knock up a mortal woman, who would carry the child to term. This demigod would share the divine essence of the divine parent, but would be sustained by a mortal womb and fed mortal nutrients. While they would be powerful, they had limitations and were not unkillable. This makes sense in context because half of their makeup would be mortal.

The reverse should be true if the demigod's mother was a goddess. That child would be sustained by a divine essence in a much more direct way due to it literally growing inside a deity. The goddess would also partake in drinking ambrosia, which is a golden liquid that is food for the gods and the key to their immortality. Such resulting beings should be much more powerful and be as immortal as their mother. However, this is not the case. Demigods born to goddesses appear to be just as vulnerable as their mortal counterparts. For example, Achilles, a hero from Greek myth, was born to a goddess and a mortal man, but was bumped off in the most idiotic way by being shot in the foot with an arrow.

I need to justify this contradiction for this world? How could I explain this?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Rekesoft, Ash, Confounded by beige fish., Mołot, Gryphon Feb 25 at 17:50

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ This question mentions Greek myths, which were exactly like this. But if I recall correctly, in Norse myths, gods are also not truly immortal, in the sense they too can be killed - it's just a lot harder. $\endgroup$ – Ed Grimm Feb 24 at 2:16
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    $\begingroup$ What contradiction? If you seek rules and reason in the luxuriant Greek mythology you shall be disappointed; rules and coherence were not very important for Greek mythographers. Fun factoids: (1)demigods could sometimes attain immortality; for example, Hercules. (2) We call them demigods; the Greeks called them heroes. (3) When ancient Greek sources speak of "demigods", hemitheoi, they don't mean a person born of the union of a mortal and an immortal, they mean some ancestor known for their strength and good behavior. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Feb 24 at 2:29
  • $\begingroup$ Ever heard of selfish gene... $\endgroup$ – user6760 Feb 24 at 8:35
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In the animal world, babies born to parents who are very different from each other have some characteristics that may be different at birth (size usually starts off to match the mother, so a too-large baby doesn't kill its mother during or even before birth) but then even out (size generally does) and some characteristics that tend to be different depending on which parent came from which group.

For example:

Many foals are born with oddly bowed legs. This is called ‘windswept’ and is common to large foals born to smaller mares. Because their ligaments and tendons are immature, they may also walk with their fetlocks almost touching the ground. Within a few days, as the foal becomes stronger, the legs should show signs of straightening up. (emphasis mine, ref)

In this case, the animal has an adaptive feature because of a mother not matching the baby. But it's temporary.

Then there are hinnies and mules. A mule is the product of a horse mother and donkey father. A hinny has a horse father and donkey mother. Mules are, as a general rule, more intelligent and vigorous than hinnies, and also a bit larger. There is a bit of controversy about the details though.

In no way does a child only follow the mother. Even if the child has the mother's culture/experiences and food.

In your case, your demigods are always going to be demi. Half. They will never be full gods and will never have all the characteristics and powers of a full god. Infancy is a very important time for all living creatures and there could certainly be differences in your demigods based on who raises them and where, the food they get, and so on. There can also be differences based on their gestation periods. But their genes will be half and half.

If you look at demigods like Achilles, he was born completely mortal and as vulnerable as any human (perhaps with some extra abilities). His protective powers came from being dipped as a baby into the River Styx. His one weakness (his Achilles heel) was the part of his body that didn't contact the water (because his mother had to hold on to him somehow).

If you choose for a demigod to be mortal (though perhaps longer-lived and harder to kill), then they are. If a child born to a human mother and divine father is mortal, then it follows that a child born to a divine mother and human father would be too. That to me makes more sense than giving a only one of those groups immortality.

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I don't see a contradiction, unless you believe Mother's milk has some special property that we need to get around. If the goddess is lactating ambrosia, we have a problem. But if she's just lactating milk, then the child would have the same limitations as one sired by a god. An identical argument could easily be made with gestation. Basically, if both chromosomes aren't divine, what you get is a mortal demigod — period.

(where this really gets fun is if the demigod mates with a god. If we use the same rules for, say, eye and hair color, you now have a 25% chance of bearing a pure mortal... oh, yeah!)

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    $\begingroup$ Actually, goddess milk does indeed have special properties. Zeus was very fond of his son Hercules by the mortal woman Alcmene, and he arranged for the infant to be brought to Olympus and placed at the breast of his wife Hera when she was asleep, so that he could suckle immortal milk. All went according to plan, but Hera woke up, found a bastard infant at her breast, and threw him away. Hercules grew strong like a god, and the drops of milk which fell from Hera's breast on the firmament stained it. The Greeks called the stain Galaxias, from galactos, milk; we call it the Milky Way. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Feb 24 at 3:08
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexP, that's a good point, but what's Incognito's take on this? $\endgroup$ – JBH Feb 24 at 6:32
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So the first thing you have to take into consideration is that the peoples who believed in these gods and demi-gods they followed it blindly. The odds that they even thought of this would be very slim. To them all they know is a god or goddess who has a child with a mortal becomes the parent of a non immortal demigod. The reason this worked back then, was because it WAS the way to believe. Anything contradictory was looked down on.

Now as far as justifying it... You may have to think of the godliness coming from the creation of a soul. Regardless the nutrients that were fed, the soul was created at conception. This would make it so that regardless the combination of parents, if a god's and a mortal's soul creating juices were combined, it creates a non immortal soul with godlike powers. Since gods are pretty well considered magical, it would stand to reason that their powers come from their souls.

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  • $\begingroup$ please read this about excessive self promotion $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Feb 24 at 3:33
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch My comment was just a joke. $\endgroup$ – Incognito Feb 24 at 3:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Incognito, which comment and how is it related to this? $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Feb 24 at 4:04
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch I replied to his answer that I wanted a shout out in his video. I thought someone deleted it. $\endgroup$ – Incognito Feb 24 at 4:06
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There are a few ways this could be done. You can use one or both of them:

  1. The divine powers of a demigod come from the chromosomes, and not the divine essences the baby is exposed to.

  2. Due to the fact that the baby is half mortal, the divine essence of the goddess cannot interact with the baby. So it grows up like it would have in a regular womb.

  3. The amount of essence the goddess gives the baby slowly over nine months is equal to the amount of essence a god gives the child at the moment of creation.

  4. Being exposed to godly essence kills a mortal baby. So, while gestating, the goddess would have to become like a mortal, or, she would have to block all the divine essence from going to the baby and also eat some mortal food to give the child nutrients

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