The Three Fates

In Greek mythology, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos are better known by which name?

And the answer: The Fates.  

Photo courtesy: public domain. 

The three Moirai, or Fates, controlled the mother thread of life, from birth to death. Clotho spun the thread of life, Lachesis measured the thread allotted to each person, and Atropos was the cutter of the thread, choosing the moment of each person's passing.

The Moirai were the incarnations of destiny and controllers of the metaphorical thread of life of every mortal, from birth to death. They independently directed fate, and saw that each fate assigned to every being could run its course without obstruction. Gods and mortals alike had no choice but to submit to their will. (However, the all-powerful Zeus was portrayed in two ways: as the sole force who can command the Moirai, or as the one who is bound to them as an incarnation of the fates.)

Depending on the medium, the Fates have been portrayed anywhere from young, attractive women to old, wizened witches of sorts. They're often seen writing in the book of fate, and winding the spool that is the thread of life.

The Fates are popular characters in literature and film. From Shakespeare's Macbeth to Disney's Hercules, these three powerful god-like characters are the harbingers of the inevitable and the ultimate check to the power of Greek gods and titans alike. Learn more about the mythology and powers of these famous sisters below.


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