That’s Zeus. Feel his power. Some say this bronze statue, recovered from the sea, is Poseidon. It is not. It is Zeus because he is about to hurl his thunderbolt, and even earthshaker Poseidon must yield to that.
With all his power over gods and men, Zeus must not change fate.
Then the bright-eyed goddess Athene said to him: ‘Father, master of the bright lightning and the dark clouds, what is this you are saying? Do you intend to take a man who is mortal and long ago doomed by fate, and release him from grim death? Do it then — but we other gods will not all approve you.’
Fate is for men, and all men have the same fate: to die, whether heroically or not. So Patroklus “met the day of his fate” but, intentionally or not, he chose the day.
…this was a fatal error, poor fool — if he had kept to the instruction of the son of Peleus, he would have escaped the vile doom of back death. But Zeus’ mind is always stronger than the mind of men…. And it was Zeus then who put the urge in Patroklos’ heart.
So Homer provides us with a confused accountability. Your fate is determined, yet you can make the decision about when to meet it — and Zeus can influence that decision. So why can’t he change the fate itself? Fate is for men, not gods.
Then lord Apollo the far-worker said to him: ‘Earthshaker, you would not say I was in my right mind if I do battle with you for the sake of wretched mortals, who are like leaves — for a time they flourish in a blaze of glory, and feed on the yield of the earth, and then again they fade lifeless. No, let us withdraw from battle immediately, and leave the mortals to fight for themselves.’
You may wish for immortality, but it has drawbacks, Thetis, the goddess mother of Achilles, lives forever while her mortal husband ages and she know that Achilles must die and she cannot prevent or postpone it. A man may live on in his achievements and, if he is a warrior, his greatest achievement is to kill. The greater the man killed, the greater the glory. Thus, Hektor,
And people will say, even men of generations not yet born, as they sail by over the sparkling sea in their many-benched ships: “This is the mound of a man who died long ago. He was the greatest of men, and glorious Hektor killed him.” That is what they will say: and my glory will never die.
And the gods? They live forever and do not care about us. As Hera says, “Let them die or live as fortune has it….”