In The Goddess Aped, there are only two reasons why Aphrodite wants the Golden Apple of Discord. First, it is her tree that it came from and she is a guardian of the garden. Second, she wants to keep the humans masquerading as goddesses from becoming immortal. She was already the most beautiful, so clearly that was not the true prize. The true prize was immortality. Since she was already a goddess and had immortality, in my story it is Hera’s daughter Eris who fashions a golden apple to appear like one from the Garden of the Gods. Both Hera and Artemis are mortals pretending to be goddesses. Hera believes she should become a goddess because she is a queen and married to an immortal. Athena believes she should be a goddess because she is half-human and not regarded favorably. If either one of them got the apple, they would become immortal and their power could be destructive and practically unstoppable. This is why, even though she knew it could result in war, Aphrodite had to get that apple at all cost.
Over time, this has been portrayed as Aphrodite’s arrogance and vanity. The apple was said to be labeled, “To the Fairest” or “To the Most Beautiful.”
However, what the story does not tell is that it was a trick the whole time. Both Hera and Athena knew they could not be goddesses and if they couldn’t, then neither could Aphrodite. The story is similar to Maleficent in the Sleeping Beauty story or to the step-sisters of Cinderella. The “original” snub is that Aphrodite does not regard the other females as goddesses. If that was not the case, why would Hera, the mother of Eris, not invite her daughter to a wedding of the Gods? It is an excuse made up by Zeus and Hera. Zeus asks Hephaestus to make the golden apple and Hera convinces Eris to throw it in. Zeus is offended that Aphrodite did not acknowledge the two other females but there is little he can do. He cannot make goddesses out of them and he wanted to start the Trojan War anyway. Besides, he is jealous of the popularity Aphrodite has and that she has refused to become one of his many lovers.
When the apple rolls into the room, Paris picks it up. Since it is labelled, he asks who is the fairest in the room? This is similar to the Snow White story. The other goddesses feigned wanting the apple and offered Paris a great deal for it. They had no intention of giving it to him. However, Aphrodite recognizing the apple was seized with panic. They knew she would be blamed for setting off a war by offering the already married Helen of Troy as a prize. but there was nothing else she could persuade Paris with. This would lead to her reputation being tarnished and the other two mortals able to write her out of history as they made their ascent as “goddesses” of their own making.
As you can see, my story differs quite a bit from the original.