We have definitely heard about the god of the underworld from various stories and films. He is often depicted as the antagonist of everyone’s story. But was this true? Or is he misunderstood?
The Greek god Hades is often misinterpreted to be evil due his association with the underworld. He’s not a bad guy after all. Turns out, he is more altruistically inclined compared to the other gods. He avoided doing wrong, and was actually kind.
How Did Hades End Up Ruling the Underworld?
After the 10-year war between the gods, Poseidon, Zeus and Hades drew lots to figure out which realms they were to rule. Zeus got the sky. Poseidon got the sea. While Hades got the underworld.
He did not have any choice but to accept what was dealt to him. He became the ruler of the invisible world. Which was so fitting as well since his name actually means the unseen one. (Source: Greek Mythology)
How Was Hades Portrayed?
As the king of the dead, he was often portrayed as a grim individual who instilled fear and terror in everyone. In the very few pieces of art he was in, he had a solemn look – with a tinge of emptiness.
More often than not, people would think the worse of him because of his connection to the underworld. (Source: Greek Mythology)
How is Hades Actually Good?
Let’s talk about the reasons why Hades is actually better than the other gods combined.
He Has A Dog
Anyone who is loved by a dog can’t be too bad. Hades has a three-headed dog named Cerberus. He helps watch the gates of the underworld and makes sure that the undead stay in the realm.
He Loved Persephone
While most stories say that Hades had abducted Persephone, some say otherwise. In many modern adaptations, Persephone wandered into the underworld. He fell in love with her, but she did not give in so easily. Hades then devised a plan to bring her back and make her his queen.
Demeter, the mother of Persephone is the goddess of fertility. She was distress with her daughter’s absence that she started to wander around aimlessly. This caused the earth to be barren, and Zeus knew he had to do something.
They made a compromise where Persephone spent two-thirds of the year with her mother, and one-third of the year with Hades.
Hades loved Persephone so much that he had a throne for her right next to him. He treated her as an equal rather than a queen who was beneath him. He appreciated her wisdom and sought her advice. He was also incredibly loyal to her.
He Was Good at His Job
In spite of being dealt the short end of the stick, Hades did well as the ruler of the underworld. He was just and righteous. He only had one rule; no one was allowed to leave. Considering it was hell, that rule seemed pretty fair.
He Was a Reasonable God
The Greeks viewed Hades to be one of more reasonable deities during the ancient times. Compared to the havoc and chaos caused by his brothers, he just stuck to the rules and did his duties. While most would think he was responsible for the torture of sinners, he wasn’t. The harsh punishments in the underworld were actually the work of Persephone. Her name literally translates to bringer of destruction. (Source: The Medium)