Thetis is one of the main antagonists in the 1981 film version of Clash of the Titans.
She was portrayed by the legendary British actress, Maggie Smith.
Thetis was first introduced as the beautiful Goddess of the Sea, as well as a prominent honoured member of Mount Olympus. Later on, she was also revealed to be the Patron Goddess of the Kingdom of Joppa, and was in a romantic relationship with Poseidon, who was devoted to her. In fact, Zeus himself had tried to court her once, but she was able to turn him down. Hence, it could be said that she had considerable power in both the worlds of deities and mortals.
However, it was eventually revealed that Thetis did not use her divine powers and authority wisely: she spoiled and indulged her son, Calibos, to the extent where he believed he could do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted with no consequences. As a result of this, he not only hunted and destroyed every living creature in the domains that Thetis had given him to rule, but also trapped and killed Zeus' sacred herd of flying horses (except Pegasus).
Zeus became determined to punish Calibos for his misdeeds and, turning a deaf ear to Thetis' desperate pleas for mercy, dealt with him accordingly: Calibos was transformed into a monstrous satyr, and forced to live as an outcast in the swamps and marshes. Through this punishment, Zeus also ensured that Thetis' plans for Calibos to become ruler of all Joppa and Phoenicia by marrying the Princess Andromeda were forever ruined.
Heartbroken, possessive, and indignant at this, Thetis declared that if Calibos could not marry Andromeda, then no man would - she helped Calibos put a curse on Andromeda, which ensured that she cannot marry unless her suitor successfully answers a riddle, and the failure in providing the accurate answer would result in the suitor being burned at the stake. Thetis also turned her ire on Perseus (Zeus' son and current favourite), for she believed that if it had been Perseus instead of Calibos who committed the atrocities that had angered Zeus so much, he might have been forgiven, and she was bitterly resentful over this possibility as well as Zeus' adamant refusal to show the least leniency towards her son. Hence, she transported Perseus from Seriphos to an abandoned amphitheater in Joppa, having instinctively foreseen that her doing so would set him on a path of fears and hardships.
When a defeated Calibos appealed to Thetis for revenge against Perseus, she confessed that she could do nothing against him as he was under the personal protection of Zeus. However, later on, she was given the perfect excuse for vengeance against Perseus in another method: Andromeda's mother, Cassiopeia, boasted that her daughter was more beautiful than Thetis herself, whereupon the indignant Goddess demanded that Andromeda be sacrificed to the Kraken on pain of Joppa's complete destruction.
Fortunately for Andromeda, Perseus arrived just in the nick of time to save her: killing the Kraken with Medusa's head, turning it to stone.
After this, Zeus triumphantly forbade any of the other deities to take vengeance on Perseus and Andromeda, leaving Thetis resigned to her defeat.
Powers and Abilities
- Immortality and Eternal Youth: As a Goddess, Thetis would never grow old or die of natural causes.
- Teleportation: Thetis was shown to possess the ability to transport herself instantaneously from one place to another.
- Premonition: Thetis spoke of her extreme anger over Calibos' and Andromeda's failed engagement to her Priests of Joppa through dreams and omens, and it was heavily-implied - through her taunting speech to an ignorant Perseus - that she had instinctively foreseen that her targeting him for vengeance would set him on a path of fear, darkness, and death. These prove that Thetis possessed potent psychic powers that enabled her to grant prophetic dreams to others and even foretell the future to some degree.
- Shapeshifting: Thetis revealed that she had the ability to change her physical form or shape into another - in the past, Zeus had tried to ravish her by transforming into a cuttlefish, but she managed to "beat him at his own game" by transforming into a shark.
- Geokinesis (possibly): Thetis was shown to possess the ability to generate earthquakes.
- Magic: Thetis was shown to be perfectly capable of manipulating supernatural or mystical energies to alter the fabric of reality as well as to defy the laws of nature. She placed a powerful curse on Andromeda that rendered her not only unable to resist Calibos' summoning and harassment, but also unable to speak or deny herself food in protest of the death penalty imposed on each and every suitor who failed to accurately answer her riddles.