Once upon a time, the immortal sea goddess Thetis, married the mortal Peleus, the son of Aiakos, and they were blessed with seven sons. As soon as Thetis gave birth, she put the babe into flaming fire, to know whether the babe was mortal or immortal. In this way, six babes died. But when the seventh babe, Akhilleus, was put to the fire, Peleus saved him. In anger, Thetis went back to the Nereides and never returned. Peleus gave Akhilleus to the care of the wise kentauros Kheiron.
Thetis always tried to protect Akhilleus. Having the foreknowledge of the Trojan War, Thetis dressed Akhilleus as a girl and handed him over to King Lykomedes of Skyros. But Diomedes and Odysseus found out Akhilleus. Then Thetis told Akhilleus that he carried two destinies. If he fought in the Trojan War, then his glory shall be everlasting but he will die; and if he did not fight, then he will live a long peaceful life. But Akhilleus chose to fight in the war. The sad Thetis then warned Akhilleus not to be the first to set foot on Troy, since the first one to land would be the first one to die.
Earlier, Thetis had saved Hephaistos, the son of Hera, when Hera had cast him out from heaven to fall in the great sea. The rapturous Dionysos was also kindly saved by Thetis, when he took refuge in the sea, to escape the murderous Lykourgos. Thetis even saved Zeus by calling the giant Briareus to Olympos, when all the Olympians had bound Zeus. From all these gods, Thetis sought favours to help her son Akhilleus, in all possible ways that she could, during the Trojan War.
But her heart was heavy, for she knew that her hero son would ultimately die by the shaft of Apollon. His ashes would rest in the golden vase, crafted by Hephaistos and gifted by Dionysos. Although, being aware of the certainty of the end of Myrmidons’ hero-king, her illustrious son Akhilleus, yet, the motherly Thetis always tried to avert it.
Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time-II: 150 Greek Mythology Stories” by Rajen Jani