Although he is depicted as evil in most Greek myths and fables, he is much more than just a merciless god of the underworld. Here are 10 facts about Hades.
1. Hades isn’t actually evil
He is actually altruistic and passive, bringing balance to the human world. He’s only harsh when souls try to leave the underworld or people try to cheat death.
2. Hades was one of the first heroes of Greek myths
Hades, along with his brothers Zeus and Poseidon, led the rebellion against their titan father Kronos for power over the universe. Hades’ part included slipping by Kronos’s armies to destroy their weapons.
3. Hades, Zeus, and Poseidon took dominion over parts of the earth
Hades got unlucky.
4. The god of the underworld is also the god of wealth
Silver, gold, and other precious metals are under his domain. Besides the name Hades, he also goes by Pluto or Plouton, the giver of wealth.
5. He has his own set of enchanted tools and a chariot led by four black horses to announce his arrival
The tools include an ebony throne, a bird-decorated scepter, and a helmet that gives him the power of invisibility.
6. Hades has a three-headed dog as his pet
The three-headed dog is not unique to Harry Potter. Cerberus has a serpent’s tail, lion’s claws, and a mane of snakes.
7. In Ancient Greek, Hades means invisible
This refers to his helmet.
8. The word Hades also refers to the underworld in general
The Greeks believed that all souls, after death, went to the underworld.
9. Charon is Hades’ ferryman who brings souls from earth into the underworld
He takes a token from the dead and ferries them across the River Styx.
10. Hades cannot have children, but he is married to Persephone, the daughter of the goddess Demeter
He…may or may not have abducted Persephone and forced her to marry him. Their children, according to Orphic fables, were a result of Zeus, in the form of Hades, seducing Persephone.
Photo Credits: “Greek Trinity” by British Museum (photo by FinnBjo); sculpture in Copenhagen Port (photo by Hansjorn and Aviad Bublil [CC-BY-SA-3.0]; “Hades with Cerberus” by I, Grizzli [CC-BY-SA-3.0]; “Héraldique meuble Cerbère” by Tretinville [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons