Choose me, gallant Paris, and you shall have powers far greater than that of any king. I will make you lord of all Asia and Greece.
The Gods returned to Olympus after King Pelias's marriage. Zeus sent Hermes with Hera, Aphrodite, and Athene to find Paris so that he could make the fateful decision: which Goddess would get the golden apple?
Power is good, fair Paris, yet what is power without the wisdom to wield it properly? I will give you wisdom. You will be the wisest man on earth and everyone will seek you for your advice. It is with this knowledge you will gain power, for you will be able to get anything your heart desires.
When Paris saw Hermes and the Goddesses approaching, he began to run. When Hermes explained the situation, he stopped. He handed him the golden apple. Paris read the inscription on the apple out loud. "To the fairest."
Dear Paris, knowledge and power cannot give you what your lonely heart desires; they cannot give you love. If you choose me as the fairest, I will give you the most beautiful woman on earth to be your bride. Her name is Helen of Sparta.
The three Goddesses stepped forward, and Hera spoke. All that power sounded pretty nice...
Athene came up to him, wanting to speak on her own behalf. Wisdom and power! That sounded even better!
Aphrodite looked into Paris's soul and knew exactly what to bribe Paris with to gain the apple. He thought this was the best offer of all, and gave the apple to Aphrodite.
The other goddesses believed he had not judged fairly, acting on his own desires rather than who was truly the fairest. They stormed away, vowing revenge.