Maggie Smith is my favourite part of this series, fuck it all.
Known far and wide for her incredible weaving talent, nobody loved Arachne more than Arachne. The story comes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, where the mortal girl Arachne boasts of her weaving ability to such an extent that Athena (Minerva, in Ovid’s Roman work), the Greek goddess of wisdom and crafts, is offended. You see, Arachne refuses to acknowledge that her gifts in weaving come, at least in part, from the gods (and from Athena, specifically). Athena then challenges Arachne to a weaving competition (a “weave-off,” perhaps) and Arachne accepts.
Now things start to get messy: Arachne weaves a tapestry depicting the transgressions and loves of the gods. It’s gorgeous, sure, but the subject matter offends Athena. Besides that, the goddess is horrified to see that the mortal’s tapestry outshines her own. In a rage, Athena destroys the tapestry, and turns the prideful Arachne into––you guessed it––a skittery little spider. I guess she was the first one. Athena invented spiders, you guys; she’s pretty creative, after all. But where was that creativity in the weaving competition, Athena!?