In “Fury of the Gods,” the furious gods are the daughters of Atlas, a Titan forced to hold up the entire sky on his shoulders forever. It happened after the Titanomachy, the battle between the Olympian gods (like Zeus, Hera, Hestia, Poseidon, and Hades) and the older gods like the Titans. In myth, Atlas has many daughters, including Hespera (Helen Mirren) and Kalypso (Lucy Liu), though Anthea (Rachel Zegler) is from another story. 

Hespera is one of the Hesperides, or the nymphs of the evening, who take care of a tree of magical golden apples in Hera’s garden. The tree and its fruit are guarded by the dragon Ladon (more on him later). If this sounds familiar, it might be because getting some of those apples was one of the labors of the mythological hero Heracles (also known by the Latin name Hercules). He had to get Atlas to retrieve an apple (or several) and was almost tricked into taking the burden of the sky from the Titan. 

Another hero, Perseus, had to get weapons from the Hesperides to take down Medusa, the snake-headed goddess whose gaze turned humans to stone. (This happens to the patrons of the Athens Museum at the beginning of the film.) It’s interesting to note that in the end, Hespera is the one who is focused on returning to the Realm of the Gods with the apple, despite Kalypso wanting to use it to destroy the human realm. Having all three goddesses in this film be of different ages echoes the concept of the triple goddess: maiden, mother, and crone. For example, we have Persephone, the maiden, Demeter, the mother, and Hecate, the crone. (Don’t take “crone” the wrong way. It’s about wisdom. Helen Mirren is a goddess already, so I’m sure she knows that.)