A stellar object around which the planet Talos IV orbits in the Star Trek universe. In the original pilot episode, The Cage, the survey vessel SS Columbia crashed on it, which led to Captain Christopher Pike and the Enterprise showing up years later.

In the Warhammer 40k universe, Talos are sinister war machines used by the Dark Eldar to spread mayhem and terror during their raids. They are roving torture devices birthed from the nightmares of the Haemonculi. It is much larger than a man and is the sturdiest unit the Dark Eldar can field.

A Talos is similar in appearance to a scorpion. It has two, large, rending claws on its foresection and twin laser turrets mounted on the top of a tail-like section on its hindquarters. These turrets, called the Talos Sting, spew forth a chaotic volley of energy towards its foes. The powerful claws are outfitted with a variety of drills and blades that allow the Talos to easily hew through sinew and bone. The Talos also uses these appendages to adorn itself with hacked off pieces of its slain victims. It will also force sufferers unlucky enough to survive its initial onslaught into its body cavity. There, they are held on the brink of death while being kept in considerable pain. The Talos uses the psychic energies from its agonizing captives to propel itself on to more carnage.

The Talos is a skimmer. It hovers slightly above the battlefield, floating towards its enemies. Instead of legs, it has an assortment of vile blades protruding from its underside.


In the ancient Cretan dialect, Talos means 'sun' and was the name given to a creation presented by Hephaestus to King Minos of Crete. Given that Hephaestus rarely made gifts that weren't imbued with some magical or otherwise really cool power, this was no exception. Another myth calls Talos a gift from Zeus to Europa after having snatched her for you-know-what.

In a nutshell, Talos was a robot. He was one of several mechanical creatures of Greek mythology. Their creation is usually attributed to Hephaistus or to Daedalus and Talos is the most famous of those created by the god and found in Minoan legend. He was an important figure in Minoan tradition and coins depicting him have been found at Phaestus.

Talos was a bronze android of gigantic proportions and his mission was to protect the kingdom and enforce the law. Apart from having unusual dimensions, he was also capable of circling Crete thrice daily, which, if we apply simple arithmetic, means that he averaged a speed of approximately 250 km/h (150 mph). Other sources give a more leisurely three times a year. He defended the island from enemy navies by throwing huge boulders and searing them with hot breath. He was also pretty hot himself and anything that he embraced became toast very quickly. He was unarmed, not that he needed any more lethal capabilities, and all he carried with him was the set of copper tablets on which the laws were written.

In line with his divine origin, Talos' demise was a pretty big deal too and the human superheroes of the time were responsible for it. There are several versions. In the first the sorceress Medea helped the Argonauts, who were returning from their quest in Colchis, to destroy Talos by blinding him with a mist (ECM?), OR she immobilised him, OR she removed a vital pin, screw or nail from his foot (pick one, any one).

Whether it was Medea pulling the plug or Poias' arrow striking the creature's ankle after Medea made sure that they could get Talos before Talos got them, someone got the stopper that kept the giant's single reservoir of life-substance inside him. In one version, his blood flowed out like molten metal; in an other he bled ichor, the blood of the gods. In yet another version, Poias' arrow caused Talos to fall off the cliff he was defending.

While it's prima facie a myth in character with Minoan sun worship--the 5th century CE Alexandrian scholar Hesychius convincingly describes him as a fallen sun god--I'd say that the myth of Talos, like many Minoan-era tales, has a strong apocryphal element to it, and should probably be considered related to the circle of Atlantean legends based on Egyptian tradition. Perhaps a better scholar than I am has more to say on this subject.

The name Talos, from this mythical giant, was given to the American RIM-8 nuclear-capable SAM that was a key weapon of the United States Navy from 1959 to 1979 and was used in the Vietnam war against aerial and onshore targets.

Robocop, anyone?

The various surviving legends about Talos are astonishingly varied and contradictory. Talos is yet another character with a vulnerable heel. I suppose all giants are vulnerable to heel wounds.

I believe that in one version of the story Talos was bull headed.

If we hazard a guess that Talos and the minotaur are one and the same, then there is a possible link to the story of The bronze bull of Heliogabalus.

There are also similarities between Talos and The Iron Man by Ted Hughes.

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