Hades is the Greek god of the Underworld and the main antagonist of Hercules and its television series. While the Hades of Greek mythology was not particularly malevolent, he is made into an evil, Satan-like figure in the Disney film, where he attempts to steal his brother, Zeus', throne as ruler of Mount Olympus. He is voiced by James Woods.
Hades appears as a blue-grey humanoid with flaming hair and a smoky base who is normally eccentric and cynical, but is very easily angered. As an Olympian God, he is immortal, and specifically has authority over the dead. Though temperamental, he is a fast-talker, and a shrewd bargainer. At some point prior to the film, he took ownership of Megara's soul as the result of one of these bargains. Hades is shown to be jealous of Zeus's position as King of the Gods, and makes long term plans to usurp his brother.
Hades is first seen in the film appearing on Mount Olympus. None of the gods are happy with his joke. Hades goes up to Baby Hercules' crib and attempts to put a spiked skull-shaped pacifier into the baby's mouth. He almost succeeds in putting the pacifier in the baby's mouth but the baby grabs and squeezes his finger, causing him to drop the pacifier and went away in pain. He then leaves Olympus to the Underworld to plan his takeover of Olympus.
Early in the film, Hades consults with the Fates on his plan to take over Mount Olympus. They tell him that when the planets align eighteen years later, Hades will unleash the horrible Titans and that they would lead him to victory. However, if Hercules fought, Hades would fail.
Hades decides to nip the Hercules threat in the bud by having Pain and Panic feed the infant Hercules a potion that will make him mortal. When Hercules is mortal, Pain and Panic would kill the baby. However, Hercules doesn't drink the last drop of the potion, meaning he still retains his godlike strength, allowing Hercules to defend himself. Years later, when Hades discovers Hercules was still alive, he takes matters into his own hands, attempting to recruit an army of monsters to defeat Hercules.
When Hades discovers that Hercules could not be defeated by his monsters, he sends Megara to seduce Hercules and find his weakness. She falls in love with Hercules on their date and forgets about the mission, simply saying that he has no weakness. Hades deducts that Hercules's love for Megara is his weakness and uses her to trick Hercules into giving up his godlike strength for Meg's safety. Hercules agrees and Hades, knowing Hercules will not interfere, not only unleashes the Titans but also sends the Cyclops to kill Hercules while he is powerless.
During the Cyclops's attack on Hercules, a pillar falls on Meg, severely injuring her. This breaks Hades' promise that Meg would not be hurt, causing Hercules to regain his strength. Hercules proceeds to go to Mount Olympus, defeating the Titans and thwarting Hades' invasion. However, Meg has died because of her injuries and Hades claims her soul as his consolation prize, knowing how much her death will hurt Hercules.
Hercules storms into the Underworld, subdues Cerberus and confronts Hades, demanding him to return Meg. Hades smugly explains to Hercules that Meg is dead and he can't have her back. Hercules offers his soul in exchange for Meg's and Hades displays a moment of being genre savvy, seeing the deal as almost too good to be true. However, he decides to agree on the condition that Hercules must retrieve her himself. It is not until Hercules has already dived in that he shouts that he'll be dead before he can get to her. The Fates attempt to cut Hercules' life thread, but are unable to. Hercules' genuinely heroic sacrifice causes him to become a god, making him immortal. Hercules emerges from the river, carrying Meg and Hades, astounded, attempts to smooth-talk Hercules again, who angrily punches him, sending Hades into the river, where he is swarmed by the souls trapped inside and dragged into its depths, presumably trapping him there forever.
During the end credits when the thanks to the staff are shown, Hades' voice is heard saying that everyone's got a happy ending but him. Then asks if anyone's listening and if he's talking to hyperspace.
Contrary to film canon, where Hades was unaware of Hercules's survival until the demigod was 18, the animated series shows that Hades often faces off against a teenage Hercules. Hades tries many different schemes to destroy Hercules and take over Olympus, plans including exposing the other gods to water from the river Lethe- thus making them all forget their original roles and leaving him free to take over -diverting the River Styx into Greece, or killing Zeus when he temporarily made himself mortal to prove a point to Hercules. Despite all these transgressions, he is never expelled from godlyhood, frequently being summoned to Mount Olympus for job-related matters afterwards.
Hades is shown to have a very poor working relationship with those in his service, primarily the witch Hecate, who frequently attempts to usurp control of the underworld out from under him. Despite Hades attempts to frequently abandon the underworld for Mount Olympus, he seems protective of the job when it's threatened to be taken away from him.
In one episode, he notably teamed up with Aladdin's deceased arch-enemy Jafar and used subsequent attempts to defeat each other's enemies. They didn't always get along however and sometimes argued. Hades found Jafar annoying because he hated his puns and evil laugh, thinking of him as a freak. Their evil plans failed when they underestimated the value of Hercules's strength and Aladdin's ingenuity, culminating in the two teaming up to stop Hades and send Jafar back to the Underworld for good.Maleficent. His first attempt to woo Maleficent fails, so he goes to Mickey Mouse for advice. Mickey tells Hades to try to be nice, but this fails too. Hades attempts to take his anger out on Mickey until Maleficent discovers how cruel he is towards Mickey and decides to date him.
Another notable appearance by Hades in House of Mouse is where Pete destroys the House's thermostat and all the guests leave due to the heat, except for Hades, who enjoys the heat. Mickey and friends then try their best to keep Hades in the House (since Mickey's contract states that the House stays open as long as the show goes on, he would be obliged to close the House down if there were no guests whatsoever). One part of Mickey trying to keep Hades is including an act from Chernabog, a sort of fast-forward version of Night on Bald Mountain. Hades loved it ("Hey! It's the old act! I love this guy!!!!").
Hades is also one of the main villains in Mickey's House of Villains as well, though he does not take part in the initial scheming at the beginning of the film. Hades was also seen in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, alongside Jafar and Captain Hook during the finale song.
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
When Terra arrives to test his strength and to see if he can handle his own darkness, Hades convinces him to enter the Games to master his dark powers (his true agenda is to find a warrior strong enough to "give Zeus a jolt of his own medicine"). However, when Terra fights his way though the tournament and gets to the title match, Hades has a Plan Beta since Terra is not using his darkness. Using his magic, Hades empowers Terra's opponent Zack with enough darkness to make him a match for Terra in the final round.
However, when Zack loses, Hades takes control of Zack, gripping his heart with darkness, just as Maleficent had done to Terra previously. This makes Zack more powerful than his last fight with Terra, but Hades has his Plan Beta beaten by Terra who defeated Zack, freeing his heart from Hades's control. Slightly miffed by the turn of events, Hades left remarking: "I guess I bet on the wrong dark horse. That kid just doesn't have it in him to handle darkness".
When Aqua arrives at the Coliseum searching for Terra and takes part in the Games to find him, Hades appears again after she defeats Zack in the final West division match to see who the competition is for the West division. Revealing that he's her opponent for the Games' title, Hades nicknames Aqua "little bluebird" due to her hair color. After insulting Terra, by calling him a "chicken heart" for not using his darkness, Hades tries to coax Aqua into using darkness herself, but is rebuffed angrily by her.
Hades just laughs off Aqua's threat after she vows to make him regret trying to use Terra. When Aqua faces him in the title match, Hades calls for back up in the form a copy of Hydros called the Ice Colossus. He defends this cheating by saying partakes of the tournament may call in back up to help fight. Despite Zack having his offer to help Aqua declined, Hades ends up losing the match when "the snow cone" vaporizes from the long battle due to being an imperfect copy of the actual Ice Titan. Angry, Hades retreats to come up with other plans, and vows to return.
When Maleficent began her conquest of the worlds, Hades became one of her allies. He utilized the Heartless by supplying them as monsters to the Olympus Coliseum, for heroes to battle as usual. However, he also gained the assistance of Cloud Strife by making a deal: if Cloud kills Hercules, Hades will lead him to Sephiroth (who he apparently does know the location of, as Sephiroth is indeed at the Coliseum). Hades additionally provided Sora with a pass to enter the Coliseum games.
When Sora appeared to be winning in the Coliseum however, Hades instructed Cloud to kill Sora as well. When the plan failed (either with Cloud refusing to deal the final blow to Sora, or with Sora defeating Cloud; it depends on the result of the battle), Hades had Cerberus attack Cloud. However, Hercules rescued Cloud and Sora defeated Cerberus.
As Sora left the Coliseum, Maleficent warned Hades not to be overcome by the darkness. Hades sent Maleficent away, claiming he could handle it. He ironically was not overcome at all (while the rest of Maleficent's followers and Maleficent herself ended up being overcome, with the other exception of Captain Hook). Strangely, Maleficent overlooked the fact that Hades was the immortal god of the dark underworld. This lead to the inevitable irony of Hades outliving Maleficent as well as being currently the only villain in the whole series to show up in all the games and survive and will probably continue to survive due to him being a god.
When Hades learned of Maleficent's demise, he took matters into his own hands. Hades, determined on personally defeating both Hercules and Sora, opened the Hades Cup in the Coliseum. The long, grueling tournament had a battle with him near the end. Unfortunately for Hades, Sora defeated him in the battle, knocking him into a cell where he was beaten up by someone. After a few more battles in the cup, though, Hades decided on a way for revenge.
In events very much like those in Hercules, Hades unleashed the four Titans upon the world (although only two are seen, it can be guessed that the other two and possibly the Cyclops were as well). When Sora reached the final rank in the tournament, he had to combat the Lythos(called Rock Titan in Kingdom Hearts). Upon its defeat, Hades apparently went into hiding.
When Sora and his friends are in Castle Oblivion, Hades makes an appearance as a figment of Sora's memories in the recreation of Olympus Coliseum. He, like before, hired Cloud to defeat Hercules. However, the only difference in their deal if that Hades will restore Cloud's lost memories instead of helping him find someone.
Eventually, Cloud was unable to defeat Hercules, due to fatigue. Hades decided to fight Hercules personally after firing his hired assassin. Sora intervenes which leads to a battle against him, during which he is the first of two Disney villain characters to use sleights. Defeating him grants you his enemy card.
Hades again appears as an antagonist when a re-awakened Sora visits the Coliseum, but most of his dealings take place in the Underworld in this game. This time, in an effort to destroy Hercules, he tries to strike a deal with the dead Auron (whom he calls "The Mother of All Bad Guys"). He offers him his life back with a clean slate, on the condition that he "Fight Hercules. In the Coliseum. To the death!" Auron refuses this offer. When Hades reminds him that he is talking to the Lord of the Dead, he responds "No wonder no one wants to die." Hades becomes enraged, and almost strikes Auron down until Sora arrives, needing to speak to him. However, it ends up with Sora and gang running for it as Hades is invincible within his domain, and they are weakened by the Underworld's curse.
Pete suggests waiting for the Heartless to take care of Sora and company, but Hades knows better and dispatches Cerberus to take care of them instead. However, Sora and Auron defeat Cerberus and escape when Sora unlocks a door with the Keyblade. Learning that the Keyblade can open any lock, Hades decides to steal it and reopen the Underdrome, a coliseum locked up by Zeus long ago that makes the Olympus Coliseum itself "look like an Olympic kiddie pool". When Pete informs him that the Keyblade won't work for just anyone and the fact that Sora is a lot tougher than he looks, Hades decides to apply "a woman's touch" to his plans.
To this end, he kidnaps Meg and traps her in the Underdrome. This means Sora must use the Keyblade to rescue her, unsealing the Underdrome in the process. Hades also sent a Hydra after Hercules so he would be out of the way. Hades's plan works and Sora opens the Underdrome to save Meg. Pete waits in ambush, but Sora still manages to save Meg with Hercules's help. He tells Sora to take Meg as he confronts Pete, but Sora, after taking Meg to safety, returns and together they beat Pete who retreats.
At the exit of the Underworld Hades confronts them and reminds Hercules about the Hydra which he had neglected to finish off completely. They enter the Coliseum to see it in ruins with the Hydra towering over it. The Hydra is defeated, but Hercules lost his strength and will, because of the guilt that he had since he had not completely destroyed the Hydra.
To celebrate the Underdrome re-opening, Hades decides to hold the Hades Cup, in the hopes of trying to kill the weakened Hercules. Knowing he needs a pawn of his own in the Games to fight Hercules, Hades creates a statue of Auron and sealed away painful memories that strengthen Auron's heart, causing him to become colder and speak in monotone. When Auron refused to kill Sora, Donald and Goofy along with Hercules, Hades had no choice but to seal what remained of his free will into the statue, placing it in his chamber.
However, Sora overheard their conversation, and with Hercules help, convinced Hades to let them fight the winner of Auron and Hercules' match. This proved to be his downfall as they infiltrated the Underworld and stole the statue back. While enjoying the battle between the two heroes, Hades was surprised to she Sora toss the statue into the arena, shattering and allowing all the stolen memories and will of Auron to return. Furious, Hades dumps Meg into the River Styx with Hercules diving after her. Confident they'll be dead within moments, Hades overpowers Sora and gang until Hercules emerges, his full power restored by willing to risk his life to save Meg.
Hades is soon quickly defeated and, while attempting to avoid a hit from Sora, loses his footing and falls down into the River Styx. Despite this, Hades manages to escape, though he doesn't appear to cause Hercules and company much trouble after that. Later in the game, Hades opens his Paradox tournaments. After Sora wins the Hades Paradox Cup, a scene is shown where Sora, Donald, Goofy, Hercules, and Auron are celebrating with the trophy. Hades looks at them furiously, but is then kicked by Pegasus which sends him flying across the Underdrome. Donald notices this a bit too late, missing sight of Hades.
In Kingdom Hearts coded, a Data version of Hades makes a deal with the Data Cloud: if Data Cloud destroys Data Sora and Data Hercules, Data Hades will give him the power to go to other worlds by telling him "The Secret of Heroes", and make him become stronger. However, he later double crosses Data Cloud, and reveals that he isn't the source of Olympus Coliseum's Bug Blox. After the defeat of the Data Cerberus, the real source of the world's Bug Blox, Data Hades battles the trio of data heroes and loses. He tells them he is not finished yet and will come back soon.
Hades makes occasional appearances at the Disney Parks. He is known for appearing at Disney's Hollywood Studios for meet and greets.
Hades is also used in promos for the Disney Parks along with other major Disney Villains as a part of Halloween celebrations.
Hades served as the main antagonist in the Walt Disney World interactive attraction. In the attraction, Hades sets his eyes on the Magic Kingdom for his new summer vacation spot, and plans on turning it into a post-apocalyptic wasteland but Merlin's powerful Crystal of the Magic Kingdom, prevents him from doing so, as it is powered to keep all evil at bay at the park.
When Hades sends his minions Pain and Panic to steal it, the crystal is accidentally smashed into several pieces with four of them getting scattered around the park. Hades then recruits several Disney Villains to help retrieve them but in the end, Hades and the villains are trapped and imprisoned in a snow globe by Merlin and the park guests that helped him on the adventure.
On the Disney Cruise Line, Hades is the starring character for "Villains Tonight!" In this show, Hades has "gone soft" in recent years and if he doesn't regain his evil nature, he will lose control over the Underworld. Hades visits the most powerful Disney Villains to help recapture his infamous cruelty.
Hades is one of the villains summoned by The Evil Queen to destroy Mickey Mouse in the Florida version of Fantasmic! Once Hades is summoned, he then summons Chernabog. Hades is defeated with the other villains at the end.
Hades does not appear in the actual show itself, but on a poster in the queue area where he sings "Torch Songs".
- Seeing as Hades is a god and therefore immortal and the fact that no chronological sequel to Hercules exists, as well as the fact that Hades should be able to survive in the River Styx because he is a god, Hades' ultimate fate is uncertain, but so far, his most likely fate is, that he remains trapped in the River Styx at least, until a sequel lets him climb out.
- He is also the second Disney villain to be sent to Hell, although in his case he rules it.
- Unlike other Disney Villains, Hades is 100% sane, aside from a fiery temper.
- Hades is often regarded as one of Disney's funniest villains, alongside Captain Hook, Yzma, Prince John, King Candy, and Ursula.
- Hades is the second villain to trick the main protagonist of a film into trading a certain power or ability of his/hers in order to give them what they want, just for domination over a certain landscape. The first being Ursula where she tricked Ariel into trading her voice for a pair of human legs, and Hades tricking Hercules into trading his strength so he can be with Megara. (But both Ariel and Hercules got they're abilities back, before they were supposed to, from a certain mishap.) Ariel's exchange also involved being with someone she truly loves.
- It is unclear as to why Hades wasn't aware that Hercules hadn't been killed by Pain and Panic back when Hercules was a baby, seeing that he IS the Lord of the Dead.
- Hades' appearance in the series contradicts the film as he believed that Hercules was dead when he was a teenager during the film.
- The Greek god Hades was not evil- in fact, he was one of the more personable gods of Ancient Greece, despite his job as lord of the dead. However, many other versions (for instance Clash of Titans) depict him as a villain, like the Disney version. While in Rick Riordan's novels like Percy Jackson and the Olympians he is adept to bargains and hold a slight, brotherly spite over Zeus.
- This wasn't even the first time Hades was a villain.
- Jack Nicholson and John Lithgow were once considered for the role of Hades.
- Originally, Hades was going to be portrayed as being less comedic and acting more like a normal Disney villain according to Disney standards. It wasn't until James Woods' auditioning for the role that Hades was rewritten as a comic-relief villain with a huge sense of humor.
- Before that, Hades was originally going to be Herc's ally instead of a villain when the film was going to be more faithful to the myth (which was scrapped very early in development), while what became Hades in the final version was originally going to be Eurystheus, Hera's (the originally intended villain of the film, who was retconned into an ally) own son, whose role essentially fulfilled that of Hades in the final film.
- A different version of Hades appears in the Silly Symphony The Goddess of Spring.
- In Hercules, Hades has smoke emitting from the base of his robe; however, this trait is missing in the Kingdom Hearts series. Most likely because it would be hard to animate.
- In all of his appearances in the Kingdom Hearts series, Hades tries using a character from Final Fantasy to get rid of Hercules. In Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, and Kingdom Hearts coded, it is Cloud, in Kingdom Hearts II, it is Auron. In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, he does use Zack in this manner, as well as to display the power of darkness to Terra.
- He seems to have a strong hatred for the Goddess of the Night, Hecate, calling her a "witch" at the conference of the Olympians. She in turn wants his throne and steals his power.
- Hades is one of the few villains with historic significance. Others include John Ratcliffe, Chernabog, Arawn and The Hun Army.
- Hades is the only villain to meet another Disney villain in media canon to his film of origin.
- Hades is the first villain since Bill Sykes to not sing a song. However, in the series, he had one called "My Town".
- The world in Kingdom Hearts II based on Walt Disney's 1997 animated film Hercules entitled Olympus Coliseum contains an attribute very similar to that of the world in Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep based on Walt Disney's 1950 Animated classic Sleeping Beauty entitled Enchanted Dominion. The similarity is the villain area of the worlds which belong to Maleficent and Hades have a same pathway infrastructure leading onto the antagonist's lair.
- In the movie, Hades is also the only god that lacks the shining aura in his body (all others have an aura with the color matching their skin's) so as the only one with that smoke aspect.
- This may be because the others are not evil in any way.
- Hades is also depicted in the Disney movie with control over fire, pyromancy, where the fire, is actually an element not related with Hades, being earth and gold, actually the closest element to Hades, the fire is probably to give him some association with the common idea of the Devil, augmenting the ideal of villain and comically with his "hot-head" personality.
- Because blue flame burns at higher tempature than red/orange flame, the implication that when Hades gets angry he 'heats-up' and turns red is inaccurate. Technically, Hades is hotter when he is calm than when he is angry.
- Hades is probably the oldest of the Disney villains. Mother Gothel, however, would probably be the oldest human villain so far.
- Due to him being immortal, Hades, along with Governor Ratcliffe (who is a human), is the only Disney Renaissance villain that does not die at the end of his film, Jafar, although he did not die at the end of the first Aladdin, actually dies at the end of The Return of Jafar.
- Hades' voice artist James Woods has said that he enjoyed voicing Hades so much he will always be willing to voice him for further appearences.
- He shares a similarity to real life villain Judge Doom as they both hate laughter but Hades only hates laughter at first saying when Jafar was laughing "What is that? Like a bronchial thing?" and then "Look why don't you hold that till we win then you can dance around and just woop it up." but then he started laughing with Jafar as well saying "You know this is kind of funny. I like it. It's cleansing" when they believed both their nemeses were killed.
- James Woods, who provided the voice for Hades, also provided the voice for Dr. Phillium Benedict,who sounds just like Hades.
- In the original myths: Gaia was his grandmother. Cronus was his father. Zeus and Poseidon were his brothers (with Hades being older than Zeus). Hestia was his sister and Hera sister as well as his sister-in-law by her marriage to Zeus (their brother).
- There was a storyline considered for the Disney tale where Demeter was not only his sister but also his ex-wife, with Persephone as his daughter and Dionysus as his son.
- Considering that Disney wanted to avoid all references to spousal infidelity. It is likely that Dionysus would be his son with Demeter, as she was Dionysus' mother in one version of his story, as well as considering that Persephone was going to be rendered his daughter with Demeter, as Zeus' children with Demeter were going to be fathered by Hades in the Disney version.
- In the original myths: Amphitrite was not only his cousin but also his sister-in-law by her marriage to Poseidon. As Poseidon's sons Triton and Otus were his nephews. Apollo was his nephew, Artemis was his neice, Athena was his neice and Hermes his nephew by Zeus. Pan was his great-nephew as Hermes' son.
Aphrodite was his neice by Zeus. Ares was his nephew by Zeus and Hera. Fear and Terror, as well as Cupid were his great nephews by Ares and Aphrodite. Hephaestus was his nephew by Zeus and Hera. Nemesis was his neice by Zeus, according to one version of the mythology. Hercules was his nephew by Zeus (in the show, Hades does sometimes refer to Hercules as his nephew). Megara was his neice-in-law as Hercules's (1st) wife.
- Hades is similar to McLeach from "The Rescuers Down Under" in the sense that both villains planned to find their enemy's weaknesses to use them against them for their own evil goals.
- The enraged Hades was similar to HIM from Powerpuff Girls.
- Hades is very similar to Prince Hans from Frozen, as they obviously have names beginning with 'H'. They also have one of the female lead(s) good graces (Meg and Anna/Elsa rspectively). Also their defeats end with them being punched by the protagonist (Hercules and Anna).
- When Hades holds a chess set in front of Megara, he sympolizes a chessmaster while Meg is a pawn. This makes him of the symbolic villains of the movie.