Wonder Woman's Diana of Themiscyra has been told many things. She has been told the history of her island, and the Amazons' creation at the hands of the Olympian gods. She has been told how the Amazons were supposed to bring peace to mankind, but fled after humans enslaved them. She has been told that she herself was molded from clay by her mother, Queen Hippolyta, and "brought to life by Zeus." But was she told a lie? Is Zeus really her biological father? That's something that the 2017 movie, contrary to assumption, actually leaves satisfyingly vague — which makes sense considering the controversy surrounding Wonder Woman's parentage.
When Wonder Woman was first conceived, figuratively, in the mind of her co-creators (William Moulton Marston, his wife Elizabeth, and their lover, Olive), she had no father. Riffing off the Greek myth of Galatea, Diana of Themiscyra was crafted from clay then brought to life by the Greek Pantheon of gods. In later iterations of the story, the gods also granted her powers based on their own abilities, making Diana a champion worthy of the myths of old. For decades, Wonder Woman was a symbol of what women could achieve completely independent from men — until 2011, when a male Wonder Woman writer decided she really needed a dad.
This was, understandably, met with criticism, but which origin does the 2017 movie go with? The answer is a lot more ambiguous than we expected...
Crafted From Clay, Brought To Life By Zeus
Despite what her mother told her about her origins, Diana's beliefs about herself are cast into doubt later on in the movie when she finally confronts Ares. He tells her that she, not her sword, is the legendary Godkiller — as "only a god can kill another god." This would imply that Diana herself is at least a demigod, if not a full blown god — and it's easy to make the assumption that Zeus is her biological father, and that Hippolyta lied.
Yet, Ares's phrasing is somewhat ambiguous. Instead of outright telling Diana that Zeus is her biological father — meaning that Hippolyta and Zeus had sex — Ares says that Diana is "the child Zeus made with Hippolyta." In this context, Diana was literally "made" from clay then granted life, so it could be that her original origin still stands — but she never suspected that this conception made her a god. After all, gods aren't always created by traditional means — Aphrodite rose from sea foam, Athena popped out of Zeus' forehead after he ate her mother, and the primordial Gaia just always existed.
It could be that Diana is this kind of god — created by both Hippolyta and Zeus in a mythical sense, to be a new champion of goodness in the world. Zeus did have a lot of affection for Diana though, crafting Themiscyra "with his last breath" so that she would have a safe haven to grow up in, so he clearly considered her to be his daughter.
In their final battle, Diana does call Ares "brother," demonstrating that however she came to be, she has accepted her role as daughter of Zeus and sister to Ares — meaning it's her responsibility to kick his butt back to the Ancient ages.
So, the answer to the question of whether Zeus is Diana's father? A resounding yes. The question of whether Zeus and Hippolyta conceived Diana in the traditional, biological, down-and-dirty fashion... Now that's an answer that Wonder Woman leaves ambiguous. Either way, Diana is definitely a god — which is super exciting for the future of the #DCEU.
Tell us in the comments: Would you like to see the other Greek gods return in Wonder Woman 2?