One minute Gilgamesh is being helped by a deity to conquer his perceived enemy, and the next minute a deity is seeking to destroy him, and the same holds true for Odysseus, the hero in The Odyssey. In one instance Odysseus" journey is blessed by a deity, and the next instance he is clinging to dear life because a deity curses his journey. These deities, portrayed in both Gilgamesh and The Odyssey, play an integral role in the journey of these heroes. They can be seen as both a blessing and a curse to the heroes of these stories.
As a blessing, the deities aide the heroes during their times of tribulation, such was the case with Athena in The Odyssey. She was the goddess who went to her father, Zeus, and pleaded for Odysseus" return home. She continued to aide him throughout his journey. They also interpret dreams for the heroes; such was the case with Ninsun, a goddess of Gilgamesh, who interpreted her son's dreams. .
Shamash in Gilgamesh, and Kalypso in The Odyssey carried out other actions on the part on the deities that can be seen as a blessing to the heroes. Gilgamesh prayed to Shamash and asked that he help him in the fight against Humbaba so that he will be remembered for all time. Shamash answered this by appointing "strong allies for Gilgamesh, sons of one mother, and stationed them in the mountain caves. The great winds he appointed: the north wind, the whirlwind, the storm and the icy wind, the tempest and the scorching wind. Like vipers, like dragons, like a scorching fire, like a serpent that freezes the heart, a destroying flood and the lighting's fork, such were they and Gilgamesh rejoiced."1 Kalypso, a goddess in The Odyssey, came to Odysseus" rescue by feeding him and loving him back to health after he was cast into the sea. She was even willing to give him immortality if he would stay with her instead of plotting his journey home. These, as well as other deities demonstrated their goodwill towards men, especially though whose journeys were significant to their time period.