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The Fates were a common motif in European polytheism, most frequently represented as a group of three mythological goddesses (although the numbers differed in certain eras and cultures). They were often depicted as weavers of a tapestry on a loom, with the tapestry dictating the destinies of men. The primary instances include:
- Moirai, the Fates of Greek mythology who control the Threads of Fate
- Parcae, the Fates of Roman mythology
- Sudice (mythology), the Fates of Slavic mythology
- Norns, the Fates of Norse mythology and related to other female deities in Germanic paganism
- Matres, the Fates of the Ancient Germanic culture.
This motif has been replicated in fictional accounts, such as:
- Three Witches, characters in Shakespeare's Macbeth
- The Fates, characters in Disney's Hercules
- The Sisters of Fate (God of War II), video game characters based on the Greek Fates.
- Matres and Matrones, ancient deities venerated in northwestern Europe
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