in greek mythology, lamia was once a beautiful queen and a mistress of zeus. jealous of the relationship, hera killed lamia’s children and transformed the queen into a monster that hunts and devours the children of others. in another version, the loss of her children prompts lamia to steal and consume others’ children out of envy, eventually turning into a monster herself. she is commonly depicted as a serpent below the waist, and later stories describe her as incapable of closing her eyes, forcing lamia to obsess over the image of her dead children. zeus, taking pity on her, gave lamia the ability to remove her eyes, allowing her to rest and escape from her grief, however briefly.