The son of king Aeacus of Aegina, Peleus had to escape the island after killing his half brother Phocus together with his other brother Telamon. The people of the island, the Myrmidons, came with him, and Peleus became the myrmidons' king in Thessaly.
In Thessaly king Akastos of Iolchos ruled, and he welcomed Peleus warmly. When queen Hippolyte or Astydameia tried to seduce him Peleus refused her, and she went to her husband the king and said that the opposite had happened. Akastos did not want to kill his guest, but took him out to the mountains, hoping Peleus would perish in the wilderness.Thanks to a special knife Hephaestus had made, Peleus made it and was to conquer Iolchos later, killing the treacherous queen.
His wife was the Nereid Thetis, who he had captured after holding her tight while she was tring to escape, transforming herself into fire, water and beasts. All the gods were invited to their wedding except Eris, goddess of conflicts, and she punished them by throwing a golden apple with the inscription " to the most beautiful" into the banquet. This led to an argument between Hera, Athena and Aphrodite which as a consequence became the beginning of the Trojan war.
Peleus and Thetis had Achilles, and Peleus was to outlive both him and his grandson Neoptolmenus. He was also one of the hunters of the Calydonian boar, and also one of the Argonauts.