Acrisius, Perseus’ grandfather, was told by an oracle that his grandson would one day grow up and kill him. At the time Acrisius didn’t have a grandson, so naturally he made up his mind he wasn’t going to get one either. He locked his daughter Danae in a bronze room with a skylight figuring if no one saw her, no one could get to her. The skylight was where he miscalculated. Zeus came down as a shower of gold and impregnated her. 1 Now Acrisius was really in a fix. His daughter was pregnant with his future murderer, but since it was the son of a god, Acrisius couldn’t take the obvious step of just killing both of them. Instead he put them in a chest which he threw into the sea, figuring when they died it would be Poseidon’s fault. 2 Poseidon, evidently, wasn’t going to take the rap, so the chest floated safely to Seriphos, where they were rescued by a fisherman who took them in. Unfortunately Seriphos was ruled by a lustful king named Polydectes who right off spotted Danae as a MILF. It was hard scoring with Perseus around, so he pretended to have a wedding, and invited everyone on the island, with the understanding that each person would have to bring a gift. Since Perseus had nothing to give – he was being raised by a fisherman, what could he offer – a mackerel? – Polydectes sent him on a quest to bring the head of Medusa.
1. These days a golden shower is something different entirely.
2. This is like blaming a fatal shooting on the bullet.