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God of the Underworld
Lord of the Dead
- Nolan North (God of War)
- Clancy Brown (God of War II, God of War III, God of War: Chains of Olympus, God of War: Ghost of Sparta, & God of War: Ascension)
God of War Series
Hades was the Olympian God of the Underworld. He is surpassed in eminence only by his brothers, Zeus and Poseidon although it is possible that Hades is considered equal to Poseidon. He is the oldest son of the Titans Cronos and Rhea and husband of Persephone. He was also a minor supporting character in God of War and a major antagonist in God of War III where he was eventually confronted by his nephew, who after a fierce duel, tore off the god's helmet before killing him by absorbing his soul with his own weapons.
Hades was the ancient Greek god of the Underworld and the brother of Zeus, but his name was shared with the abode of the dead. In Greek Mythology, Hades was the first son and fourth child of Cronos and Rhea. According to myth, he along with his younger brothers Zeus and Poseidon defeated the Titans in battle and took over rulership of the cosmos; ruling the Underworld, Sky, and Sea, respectively; the solid earth, the long province of Gaia, was available to all three concurrently.
He was also called "Plouton" (Greek: meaning "Rich One"), a name which the Romans Latinized as Pluto. The Romans would associate Hades/Pluto with their own chthonic gods, Dis Pater and Orcus. The corresponding Etruscan god was Aita and the corresponding Canaanite god was Mot. Symbols associated with him are the Helm of Darkness, the bident and the three-headed dog, Cerberus.
In the God of War Series
The First Titanomachy
Hades appears in cutscenes in God of War II, during the Great War, when the Gods defeated the Titans. He is seen fighting his father Cronos trying to take Cronos's soul until Atlas comes and uses a ground attack on Hades to save Cronos. This causes Hades to turn his attention to Atlas and with his brother Poseidon coming to help him Hades is able to take Atlas's soul placing it within him thus defeating the Titan leader. After the Titanomachy he becomes a prominent figure among the Gods as there is a statue of him in the Garden of the Gods along with Athena, Ares, Zeus, Helios, and Poseidon. At the end of the game he is seen with Poseidon, Helios and Hermes standing in front of Zeus, before the second Great War (when Kratos uses the Loom of Fate to rescue the Titans before they were defeated and imprisoned in the first Great War) begins.
Wager of the Gods
In the comics, Hades is seen in flashbacks competing in the wager of the Gods, a contest in which Gods choose various mortals as their champions, with the goal being the capture of the healing elixir known as Ambrosia. Hades chose Alrik, a warrior who sought to capture the Ambrosia in order to save his ill father, as his champion.
What Are Hades' Powers & Weaknesses?
Ancient Greeks worshipped the gods of Mount Olympus. However, the ancients also believed in gods who resided in places which were not as cozy as the home Zeus ruled on a mountain. There is one god that struck fear into the hearts of the ancient Greeks because he ruled the underworld, where souls were sent after they died. His name is Hades.
1Power Over the Dead
Hades' brothers are Poseidon and Zeus, and after the war with the Titans, they divided the world amongst themselves. Poseidon was selected to rule over the sea, Zeus over the the heavens, and Hades to rule the underworld. Hades doesn't rule alone, but delegates duties to his underlings, including Charon the ferryman, who brings the souls of the dead to the underworld across the River Styx, and Cerberus the fearsome three-headed dog which guards the entrance to the underworld. Ancient Greeks were fearful of attracting his unwanted attention so they avoided saying his name. They also averted their faces when making sacrifices to Hades.
2Power of Invisibility and of Riches
Hades is considered to be very wealthy, because Hades resides underground and because the earth is filled with precious metals and riches. Hades also has the power of invisibility. He is able to call upon this power through a magical helmet the cyclopes gave him. He has let mortals and other gods borrow this helmet to complete certain tasks. For example, he lent it to Perseus when he slew Medusa.
3Weakness of Stubbornness and Deceit
Hades refuses to let anyone leave the underworld, and his stubbornness can be considered a weakness. He is not always straightforward with his word . Once, Orpheus asked Hades to allow him to retrieve his wife, Eurydice, from the underworld. Because Hades was enchanted by the music of Orpheus, he granted the return of his wife on a condition which Orpheus was unable to keep. Hades promptly had Eurydice swallowed back into the underworld.
4Weakness for the Beautiful Persephone
When Hades laid eyes on Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, he decided that he had to have her. One day, when Persephone was picking flowers, the ground opened up and Hades came upon her in his chariot. He abducted her and brought her to the underworld to be his queen. When Persephone's mother, Demeter, learned of her daughter's abduction, she refused to let the spring come, and quickly many plants started to die. When Zeus saw that the earth was going to be devastated, he ordered Hades to return Persephone to her mother. Hades did so but not before tricking her into eating a pomegranate seed which bound her to the underworld. So Persephone spends half the year with her mother, during the spring and summer months, and half the year with Hades in the underworld, during the fall and winter months.
Hades and dog Cerberus
History >> Ancient Greece >> Greek MythologyGod of: The Underworld, death, and riches
Symbols: Scepter, Cerberus, drinking horn, and the cypress tree
Parents: Cronus and Rhea
Children: Melinoe, Macaria, and Zagreus
Abode: The Underworld
Roman name: Pluto
Hades is a god in Greek mythology who rules the land of the dead called the Underworld. He is one of the three most powerful Greek gods (along with his brothers Zeus and Poseidon).
How was Hades usually pictured?
Hades is usually pictured with a beard, a helmet or crown, and holding a two-pronged pitchfork or a staff. Often his three headed dog, Cerberus, is with him. When traveling he rides a chariot pulled by black horses.
What powers and skills did he have?
Hades had complete control of the underworld and all its subjects. Besides being an immortal god, one of his special powers was invisibility. He wore helmet called the Helm of Darkness that allowed him to become invisible. He once loaned his helmet out to the hero Perseus to help him defeat the monster Medusa.
Birth of Hades
Hades was the son of Cronus and Rhea, the king and queen of the Titans. After being born, Hades was swallowed by his father Cronus to prevent a prophecy that a son would someday overthrow him. Hades was eventually saved by his younger brother Zeus.
Lord of the Underworld
After the Olympians defeated the Titans, Hades and his brothers drew lots to divide up the world. Zeus drew the sky, Poseidon drew the sea, and Hades drew the Underworld. The Underworld is where dead people go in Greek Mythology. Hades wasn't very happy about getting the Underworld at first, but when Zeus explained to him that all the people of the world would eventually be his subjects, Hades decided it was okay.
In order to guard his realm, Hades had a giant three-headed dog named Cerberus. Cerberus guarded the entrance to the Underworld. He kept the living from entering and the dead from escaping.
Another helper for Hades was Charon. Charon was Hades' ferryman. He would take the dead on a boat across the rivers Styx and Acheron from the world of the living to the Underworld. The dead had to pay a coin to Charon to cross or they would have to wander the shores for one hundred years.
Hades became very lonely in the Underworld and wanted a wife. Zeus said he could marry his daughter Persephone. However, Persephone did not want to marry Hades and live in the Underworld. Hades then kidnapped Persephone and forced her to come to the underworld. Demeter, Persephone's mother and goddess of crops, became sad and neglected the harvest and the world suffered famine. Eventually, the gods came to an agreement and Persephone would live with Hades for four months of the year. These months are represented by winter, when nothing grows.
Interesting Facts About the Greek God Hades
- The Greeks did not like to say the name of Hades. They sometimes called him Plouton, which means "the lord of riches."
- Hades would get very angry at anyone who tried to cheat death.
- In Greek Mythology, the personification of death was not Hades, but another god named Thanatos.
- Hades fell in love with a nymph named Minthe, but Persephone found out and turned the nymph into the plant mint.
- There are many regions to the Underworld. Some were nice, such as the Elysian Fields where heroes went after death. Other areas were awful, such as the dark abyss called Tartarus where the wicked were sent to be tormented for eternity.
- Hades is sometimes considered one of the Twelve Olympian gods, but he didn't live on Mount Olympus.
- Take a ten question quiz about this page.
- Listen to a recorded reading of this page:
History >> Ancient Greece >> Greek Mythology
Hades is a God in Greco-Roman mythology, where he is also known as Pluto. He is the God of the Dead, ghosts, mortality, death, riches, wealth of the earth, He is the brother of Zeus and Poseidon.
Hades is the oldest son of Cronus and Rhea. Immediately after Hades was born he was swallowed by his father Cronus, later to be saved by his younger brother Zeus. Due to a prophecy feared by Cronus that his children would be more powerful than him. Zeus tricked his father into vomiting up his siblings who had grown in his stomach unable to die. They came out in reversed age order and Zeus became the oldest son and therefore the king.
During the Titanomachy Hades along with his sibling Zeus, Poseidon and Hera battle and defeat Cronus and the Titans (There are no sources mentioning Hestia and Demeter joining the war but they did supported Zeus throughout the war). After the War Zeus, Hades and Poseidon drew lots to rule over. Hades drew the underworld and become the God of the Underworld and of the dead.
Powers & Abilities
Hades is among the most powerful of Greek gods. Rivaled in power on by his brothers Zeus and Poseidon.
- Superhuman Strength- Hades possesses an immense strength.
- Superhuman Stamina- Like all his fellow Olympians, he can stay up all night without any sleep nor rest.
- Superhuman Senses- Hades' sense are omniscient. He can sense danger from a very far away.
- Nigh Omniscience- Within the underworld, Hades can observe all things and inscribe them into his mind.
- Regeneration- Hades can heal any wound inflicted upon his in a short period of time.
- Immortality - Hades is not subject to old age and death
- Invulnerability - Hades is immune to conventional damage.
- Monetary Manipulation- Aside from being the god of the underworld, Hades is also the god of wealth. So he can manipulate and generate wealth iteself.
- Necromancy - Hades is the god of the dead. He holds absolute reign over the souls in his realm.
- Shapeshifting - Hades can change his physical form to anything he desires.
- Pyrokinesis - Hades holds command over flame.
- Umbrakinesis - Hades holds power over shadows and darkness.
- Resurrection - Hades can restore life to the dead or dying.
- Earth Manipulation - Hades was able to shake the earth three times just by growing impatient.
- Flight- Hades can fly anywhere he wants.
- Spell Casting- He can cast a highly advance magical spell.
Hades is a unique figure in Greek mythology, as he is the only one of the key entities in Greek mythology that is not a part of the Twelve Olympians. Therefore he does not reside in Mount Olympus, unlike other well-known gods and goddesses such as Zeus, Athena Apollo or Aphrodite. Hades lives where he reigns: the underworld, and much of his power is derived from the said underworld. The underworld, Hades’ kingdom, is sometimes referred to by his own name, Hades. Hades was known by the Romans by the name Pluto.
As the king of the underworld, Hades has complete control over its territory and the souls that inhabit it. Hades is known for not letting a single soul escape the underworld and punishing those who attempt to do so. Anyone who tries to save someone’s soul from the underworld would get punished as well. Hades wields extreme power in the underworld and all of its geography, which you can read more about below.
Besides that, Hades, like all major Greek gods and goddesses, is an immortal being. Hades is also the god of wealth or riches, which makes him control all the riches found on earth. Hades is known to be the wealthiest of all gods. He also has a helmet that makes him invisible, and Cerberus, the three-headed dog that stands guard at the underworld entrance.
Hades origin story
Hades is one of the children of the Titan Cronos with his wife, Rhea. After receiving a prophecy that one of his children would take his place of power, Cronos began to swallow his children moments after they were born. Hades was actually the first of his children to get swallowed up, alongside his brother Poseidon and his sisters Hestia, Demeter and Hera. His brother Zeus was also supposed to be swallowed up by their father, but Rhea tricks the Titan into eating a rock instead of their son. Zeus then grows up to defeat Cronos and the Titans, saving his siblings in the process. The Titans were banished to living in Tartarus, which is located in the depths of the underworld.
After Cronos was defeated, the three brothers (Zeus, Poseidon and Hades) drew lots to see which portion of the world they would control. Poseidon drew the seas, Zeus drew the skies, and Hades drew the underworld. Because of that, Hades does not live with the rest of the Olympians at Mount Olympus since he has to keep guard of the underworld and its inhabitants.
The underworld is Hades’ domain, sometimes even being referred to by his name. It is the place where souls go after death. Much like the Judaeo-Christian hell, good and bad people each inhabit a different area of it. A central part of the underworld is its six rivers, each named after a different emotion associated with or related to death or the act of dying. The Styx is perhaps the most famous of these rivers, being known as the river of hatred. It is associated with the goddess of the same name.
The other rivers are Acheron, the river of pain; Phlegethon, the river of fire; Cocytus, the river of wailing; and Lethe, the river of forgetfulness associated with Lethe, the goddess of forgetfulness and oblivion. Oceanus is the river that circles the world.
Charon, one of the most prominent figures of the underworld, is the ferryman who carries the souls of those who have recently passed away across the river Styx (or sometimes Acheron). It was a legend that Charon asked for a coin as the price for his ferryman services, which is why the Greeks had the custom of burying their dead with a coin in their mouths, as a sort of religious rite.
The underworld is divided into sections. At the front of its entrance live the embodiments of many of the terrible things we as mortals face each day, such as Grief (Penthos), Fear (Phobos), Hunger (Limos) and Death (Thanatos). There is also War (Polemos) and Discord (Eris), alongside the Furies (Erynies), known as deities of vengeance. There are also many beasts living close to the entrance, like Centaurs, Gorgons, the Hydra and the Chimera.
The three main areas of the underworld are Tartarus, the Asphodel Meadows and Elysium. Tartarus is so far away and deep beneath everything that it is sometimes not considered a part of the underworld itself. Tartarus is where the Titans reside.
The Asphodel Meadows is a sort of purgatory, the place for people who did not commit any serious crimes but did not achieve any greatness during their lifetimes. Finally, Elysium is akin to a paradise, where souls have an easy afterlife, free of punishments or labors. Most accepted to Elysium are demigods or heroes, but those who were pure in their hearts and lived a righteous and just life are also accepted.
Hades’s helmet of invisibility
One of Hades’ strongest powers is the ability to make himself invisible. These powers of invisibility are not innate to his being but rather powered by a cap (sometimes referred to as a helmet or helm). It is said that the Cyclops, after bestowing a lightning bolt upon Zeus, the god of thunder, and a trident upon Poseidon, the god of the seas, then gave Hades the helmet of invisibility. The Cyclops has the brothers these items to aid them in their battle against the Titans.
The helmet of invisibility makes the wearer invisible to ordinary beings and supernatural entities and deities. Within Greek mythology, many famous figures have worn the same helmet in situations of combat. Athena, the goddess of wisdom and strategy, wore it during the Trojan War. In contrast, the messenger of the gods, Hermes, wore the invisible cap in his battle against the giant Hippolytus.
Perhaps the most famous story about Hades’ helmet of invisibility and its use is not one featuring a god, but rather a hero: Perseus, the son of Zeus with the mortal Danäe (making him a demigod and Hades’ nephew). Perseus’ most famous heroic deed is the slaying of Medusa, a Gorgon, by beheading. He also saved Andromeda from the sea monster Cretus, who Poseidon sent. Afterwards, Perseus marring her and made her his queen.
Perseus received the helmet of invisibility from Athena, the goddess of wisdom. Also, from Athena, he received Hermes’ winged sandals. She grants both of these magical weapons to Perseus to aid him in fighting against the terrible Medusa. The cap of invisibility was not used to escape from Medusa’s deadly gaze, but rather as a means to escape after Perseus had already beheaded the Gorgon.
Hades and Cerberus
Another symbol associated with Hades is the three-headed dog Cerberus, which has the job of guarding the entrance of the underworld and stopping any soul from getting out or any living being from getting in. The hero Orpheus was able to get into the underworld by charming the beast with music. Cerberus is usually described as having three heads, a serpent in place of his tail and snakes coming out of various parts of his body. Cerberus is also known as the hound of Hades. The ancient poet Hesiod claimed that Cerberus had fifty heads instead of just three.
The most famous myth involving Cerberus is that of Heracles’ twelve labors, in which the very last of the labors was to capture Cerberus, the guard of the underworld. He was assisted by Hermes and Athena. Upon entering the underworld and asking Hades for his permission to bring the beast to the surface, Hades gave his word that we would allow it as long as Heracles did not make use of any weapons to do so. The hero then bravely overpowered Cerberus with his bare hands and carried it to the surface on his back.
Eurystheus, Heracles’ cousin, was the one who gave Heracles the twelve labors after the Heracles, in a madness driven by Hera, murdered his own family. The twelve labors were, therefore, to serve as Heracles’ penance. Upon seeing Cerberus on the back of Heracles, Eurystheus begged him to return the beast to the underworld, offering to release Heracles from any further labors.
The weapon that is most often associated with Hades, alongside the already mentioned cap of invisibility, is his bident, which we would normally perceive as a pitchfork. Poseidon, the god of the seas and earthquakes and Hades’ brother had a trident, while Zeus, the god of the skies and thunder and another brother of Hades, has a lightning bolt. The lightning bolt can be seen, superficially, as having one prong or as being a sort of “unident.” This means that each brother has his own unique tool with a different number of prongs; one for Zeus, two for Hades, and three for Poseidon.
What are Hades Powers that are Really Scary?
Hades is the brother of Zeus and Poseidon, who make up two of the Twelve Olympians. When the Greek gods had defeated the Titans, they needed to decide who would have control over each portion of the world. To decide this, the world was divided into three parts: the skies, the seas, and the underworld.
Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades all drew lots to see which portion of the world they would control. Zeus drew the skies, Poseidon drew the seas, and Hades drew the underworld. Because he ruled the underworld, Hades did not reside on Mount Olympus with the other gods. Hades lived in the underworld and could only hear the voices of those who lived in the underworld or those who spoke his name in the land of the living.
Greeks believed that if they spoke his name, Hades possessed enough power to bring them to the underworld, so Greeks would try not to speak his name.
Cap of Invisibility
Hades possessed the power of invisibility given to him through a magical helmet made by the cyclops. Hades was no stranger to letting Greek heroes borrow his cap of invisibility. Perseus used the cap of invisibility on his mission to behead Medusa. Athena used the cap of invisibility during the Trojan War to assist Diomedes, Greek hero of the Trojan War, in injuring Ares. Hermes used the cap of invisibility in battling the giant, Hippolytus.
Control Over the Earth’s Riches
Because Hades is the ruler of the underworld, he possesses and controls all of the riches that are found within the earth. This includes both natural riches as well as buried riches. He is often considered the wealthiest and richest of all of the gods.
Keeper of the Souls
As Hades is the ruler of the underworld, he will very rarely let a soul leave the underworld. Souls who have entered the underworld most often become permanent residents, as Hades typically does not let anyone leave. If a soul tried to leave, Hades would punish them. Similarly, if someone tried to rescue a soul that was living in the underworld, Hades would punish them as well.
Hades and Cerberus
Hades had a companion to keep him company and help guard the souls in the underworld. Cerberus was a three-headed dog who would stand guard at the entrance to the underworld to ensure that no souls attempted to escape, and that no person attempt to enter to steal a soul.
Stealer of Persephone
In the myth of Hades and Persephone, the ruler of the underworld stole Persephone from the earth when he opened up the earth where she was picking flowers. Persephone is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, goddess of agriculture and harvest. Demeter discovers that Persephone is stolen by Hades, so she brings upon a great drought and famine to the earth.
Demeter vowed she would not restore vegetation until Persephone was returned. Zeus sends his son, Hermes, to go to the underworld and retrieve Persephone. Hermes complies and visits Hades in the underworld with Persephone sitting alongside him. Hermes tells Hades that Zeus and Demeter are requesting Persephone be returned to them.
Hades agrees and gives Persephone a pomegranate to eat before she leaves. When Persephone returns to her mother, her mother asks if she has eaten anything while in the underworld. Persephone confirms that she ate a pomegranate, and Demeter is devastated. Eating food from the underworld binds Persephone to Hades.
With the intervention of Zeus, a compromise is reached between Demeter, Persephone, and Hades. For one-third of the year, Persephone is required to spend this time in the underworld with Hades. During this one-third of the year, the earth experiences a harsh winter falls on the earth to represent Demeter’s sadness over missing her daughter.
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