The presentation of Lokris and the Lokrians in the Iliad is problematic. The entry for Lokris in the Catalogue lists an unusually large number of towns for such a small area, but many of those towns are obscure. Despite the small size of the region of Lokris, it has given the epic not one but two major heroes of very different characters: the Lokrian commander Oilean Aias and Patroklos, Achilles' friend and warrior companion. Although Aias is praised in the Catalogue entry as the greatest of Homeric warriors, elsewhere in the Iliad he is only a second-rank hero and his men, the Lokrians, are relatively insignificant archers. Seeking a resolution of these difficulties, this paper integrates information derived from the text of the Iliad with what is known of the topography and archaeology of Lokris between the Late Mycenaean and Archaic periods. It is concluded that Aias, the more traditional hero, is firmly embedded in Lokris, whereas Patroklos, who appears to be ‘reinvented’ by the poet of the Iliad, has no traditional connection to the land. The contrast between these heroes may reflect the division between the mountainous Epiknemidian and the urban Opountian parts of Lokris. Oilean Aias encapsulates the ancient virtues of the mountain warrior and is linked with Epiknemidian Lokris; Patroklos, with his gentle disposition, is representative of the citizen of the polis and as such is linked to Opous, the capital of Lokris.