After hearing of the prophecy from the Moirai (the fates) that a female child born of Metis would be greater than her mother and a male child born of Metis would be greater than his father, Zeus became frantic. Metis was his first lover. As most know, one's first love is both pure bliss, deepest passion, and yet also pain. He enjoyed her presence, especially her cunning and wit. However, as the new ruler of the Universe, Zeus had to be cautious. His actions now could seal his fate for the negative. Zeus pondered his predicament. Just what would he do?
One day when Metis came unto him Zeus decided to act. He tricked Metis into playing a game where they each shape-shifted into different forms. Zeus asked Metis to transform into a fly and Metis obeyed. No sooner had she done so did Zeus immediately grab her and swallow her, much in the same fashion that his father Cronus had swallowed his siblings. What Zeus did not know was that Metis was already pregnant.
Being divine, Metis could not die. She lived on inside Zeus, seemingly accepting her fate. She even whispered to Zeus advice and gave him great council. Even as she offered Zeus assistance the fetus inside her continued to grow. Metis knew that eventually the time would come where she would give birth. Years passed. In the meantime Zeus courted and married his sister Hera, and fathered with her the gods Ares, Hebe, Eileithyia, Enyo and Hephaestus.
Eventually, Zeus found himself plagued by constant migraines. Nothing he could do could ease his pain. The pain was intolerable and it only grew worse. Out of desperation he called for his son Hephaestus, the blacksmith of the Olympians. Hephaestus brought his anvil and told Zeus to rest his head upon it. With one swift blow Hephaestus struck the head of Zeus with his mighty hammer. Zeus' skull cracked open. To the amazement of the Olympians a radiant female figure leaped from the wound. It was Athena and she emerged full grown. True to the prophecy, Athena would go on to become greater than her mother. Athena also quickly became her father's favorite child.
While the Olympians were distracted with the birth of Athena, Gaia grew infuriated at the treatment of her children the Giantes and the Titans that were imprisoned within Tartarus. She mated with Tartarus and produced the last being she would ever birth. She named him Typhon.
Typhon was the most horrendous and frightening being in all of creation. In appearance he was larger than the tallest Titan. He was so large that it was said that his head brushed the very stars. From the waist up he appeared as a winged man. However, he possessed serpents instead of legs. His fingers were serpents as well and out of his body grew a hundred heads, some were of serpents and others of beasts. Only one was human. To make matters worse, Typhon breathed fire. When Typhon matured he took for his mate the monster Echidna and the pair eventually produced most of the monsters of Greek mythology. Gaia also guided him, instructed him and molded him so that he would rise up and attempt to overthrow Zeus.
The time came when Typhon challenged Zeus for dominion over the Universe. Zeus unleashed his full wrath upon Typhon and after a lengthy battle finally weakened him. Zeus struckk him with lightning bolts and Typhon collapsed to the earth. Zeus hurled a mountain on top of him. The mountain would later be named by humans, Mt. Etna, and to this day, from time to time, it erupts with fire and smoke as Typhon struggles to move beneath it. Thus, Typhon, the last foe of the gods, was defeated. From that time forward Zeus's claim to power remained unchallenged.