Up on Mount Ida, Paris was making his decision of who was most beautiful, Hera, Athena, or Aphrodite. Each woman offered something to Paris in return for the golden apple. Hera offered ?extraordinary wealth and to be ruler over all mortals.? Athena offered Paris to be ?the bravest and wisest of mortal men, victorious in war, and skillful in every craft.? Aphrodite?s offer, which was Paris?s favorite offer of the three, was Helen to be his wife.
When Paris had made his choice and gave the golden apple to Aphrodite, he went to Sparta to meet Helen. After nine days of staying with Helen her husband, Menelaus, went on a trip. When Paris was finally alone with Helen he was able to carry out his plan to convince Helen to return to Troy with him.
Paris approached Helen with the story of the golden apple. He told her, ?I have been promised your hand in marriage by the goddess Aphrodite.? This shocked Helen and she asked, ?How can I have been promised to you when I am already taken by another?? Paris, who also had questions about this, responded by saying, ?Aphrodite would have known about your marriage, it is clear that she thinks it is of no importance to our marriage.?
?But why would I leave here, where I already have everything I could ever want?? inquired Helen.
?Ten times more than what you have here is what awaits you in Troy. Just ask and I will provide whatever you ask of me,? promised Paris.
Helen responded, ?Am I just to leave my daughter alone, to grow up here without her mother??
Paris said, ?You know very well that there are many here who can raise your daughter as their own. She will be well taken care of.?
Paris continued, ?I am here to give you a choice. Menelaus was chosen for you as a husband, if you truly love him then you must stay. However, if there is any doubt in your heart, please consider my offer. I am giving you an opportunity to freely choose who you love.?
This caused Helen to truly look inside herself to distinguish what her heart desired. After much contemplation, weighing Paris?s offer and the current life she already had, Helen decided to return with Paris to Troy. When she told Paris of her choice he told her she must go pack her things because they were to leave immediately. When she was gathering her possessions she took a few minutes to write a letter to her daughter explaining that even though she would be away from her, Helen would always be with her daughter and that she planned a return to her home before Helen died. After she finished the letter and leaving her daughter a few of her prized possessions, Helen gathered the last few things and went to meet Paris. Both Paris and Helen happy with Helen?s decision, they set out to return to Troy.