In Greek mythology and many fantasy stories, they are treated as the same. But I can't help but feel they shouldn't...

If we assume that gods can take any physical form, how do you explain it to goddesses? Do they retain their mortal form for nine months or change back to their celestial form and return to mortal form to give birth? Or do they snap their fingers and simply create a newborn by fusing their lover's sperm with their ovum and skipping the fetus stage?

In the first case, won't grow within a womb of the goddess make them different, even that goddess is mortal? The second case, won't the development within a celestial womb result in more "celestiality"? In third, do they even count as a demigod but a creation of a deity?

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    $\begingroup$ Considering that you are pulling magic in this question without further details and that there is no scientific account of (demi)gods from which we can infer their biology, I am afraid this is an entirely opinion based question. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Feb 12, 2020 at 4:07
  • $\begingroup$ Gods don't exist. So, we can't really say how they should or would function. For what it matters, various mythological figures have had pretty much all variations of what you described and probably more. Some deities shapeshift during pregnancy, others don't. Some give birth in a different form, others don't. Some just "produce" babies without much of a pregnancy periods, others don't. Sometimes the resulting baby is more special, other times it is similar to a baby fathered by a male entity. Your world, your rules for how this works. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 12, 2020 at 5:29
  • $\begingroup$ Why do people insist on asking questions for which there can be no right answer? Gods are whatever they want to be -- by definition -- and they make the rules by which they themselves live by. A goddess might become male for a time. A god might sire a demigod upon a man -- or allow a man to inseminate the god. Human and god might both turn into showers of gold and the baby forms fully from the mixed coins. There is no answer here. It is whatever you, the storyteller, want to make it. This isn't a worldbuilding question. It's a plot question. And it is the author's opinion entirely. $\endgroup$
    – SRM
    Feb 12, 2020 at 5:48
  • $\begingroup$ Why do people insist on ònly offering real-world science-based answers for queries that obviously do not relate entirely to the real world? This is WORLDBUILDING, people! Open up your minds and use your imaginations. Clearly, we can not strictly apply Earth type biology to this question. We need to look beyond and apply the biology a/o other sciences appropriate to this context. I agree that the OP needs to provide better context, but to shut down a query simply because there is no real-world science is, in this forum, a bit of a cop-out. /rant $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Feb 12, 2020 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ I think there’s some pretty interesting questions in this about what we inherit from mom’s vs dads biologically. Babies get a lot of their immune system from their moms during gestation. Do immortals have immunities and immune responses? Do demigods need them? There are sex-dependent genes too! $\endgroup$ Feb 13, 2020 at 4:05

1 Answer 1


demigods birthed by goddesses are brought to the heaven/Olympus/magical wherever, because they are in the womb, and therefore reach their full powers quickly, and are well trained. The ones sired by males are left on earth and think they are human. if they do discover their powers it is by accident. they are less powerful on average, because they are untrained.

edit: changed the use of sired to birthed by goddeses

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    $\begingroup$ Given the gender-binary theme introduced by the OP, I'll put on my pedantry hat and point out that "Sire" is generally a masculine term. It probably isn't something goddesses would be doing, at least not whilst they'd be reasonably called goddesses. $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2020 at 10:02
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    $\begingroup$ I would add to this that the ones birthed by goddesses would have a greater base strength because of their access to "divine" nutrients like godly mothers milk and god-like foods. $\endgroup$
    – Plutian
    Feb 12, 2020 at 10:45

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