B is for Bellerophon.
I have something to tell you, and it might be hard to hear. Especially is you were a fan of Clash of the Titans – either version… *Ahem* Are you ready? It was Bellerophon, NOT Perseus, that rode Pegasus.
Who was Bellerophon? A totally kick-butt and take no-prisoners kind of Greek hero. He wasn’t perfect – killing his brother, ravishing/seducing/rejecting a queen, and sent into exile…You know, nothing’s ever ‘easy’ or ‘straightforward’ when it comes to Greek Mythology, that’s why it’s so cool.
Before there was Heracles, there was Bellerophon – and Perseus and Cadmus. His most recognized accomplishment was killing the chimera. In order to complete his task, he would have to fly – via the winged horse, Pegasus. The winged stallion had no interest in helping Bellerephon, so the Olympians came offered help. Athena came to him in a dream, offering him a golden bridle that he should place on the horse while he was drinking. Of couse, it worked and Bellerophon slew the chimera.
Performing such a task earned him great fortune and fame… and a little bit of an ego trip too. So much so that he thought he had earned the right to join the Gods on Olympus. The Olympians didn’t see it that way. When Bellerophon and Pegasus started to fly to their mountain-top realm, the Gods send a gadfly to sting Pegasus, knocking Bellerophon back to earth. Pegasus went on to Olympus, where he was welcomed.