Ten years after the fall of Troy, the victorious Greek hero Odysseus has still not returned to his native Ithaca.
A band of rowdy suitors, believing Odysseus to be dead, has overrun his palace, courting his faithful -- though weakening -- wife, Penelope, and going through his stock of food. With permission from Zeus, the goddess Athena, Odysseus' greatest immortal ally, appears in disguise and urges Odysseus' son Telemachus to seek news of his father at Pylos and Sparta.
However, the suitors, led by Antinous, plan to ambush him upon his return.
Odysseus relates how, following the Trojan War, his men suffered more losses at the hands of the Kikones, then were nearly tempted to stay on the island of the drug-addled Lotus Eaters.
Next, the Cyclops Polyphemus devoured many of Odysseus' men before an ingenious plan of Odysseus' allowed the rest to escape -- but not before Odysseus revealed his name to Polyphemus and thus started his personal war with Poseidon.
The wind God Ailos then provided Odysseus with a bag of winds to aid his return home, but the crew greedily opened the bag and sent the ship to the land of the giant, man-eating Laistrygonians, where they again barely escaped.