"I vowed to reclaim my dignity, Hercules, the day you were born. And unlike some people, I keep my promises!"
- ―Hera in "Full Circle"
Hera, the Queen of the Olympians Gods, is the wife of Zeus, making her queen of the Olympians. Aside from her duties as queen, Hera is known as the goddess of women and marriage. Both the peacock and the cow are sacred to her and she would often appear in the disguise of a peacock.
History[edit | edit source]
Marriage being sacred to her, Hera was enraged at Zeus's many infidelities. The one which irked her the most was Zeus's affair with the mortal Alcmene: the product of which was the demi-god Hercules. At every opportunity, from the very moment Hercules was born, Hera would send monsters of various kinds to attack him.
Her first move towards Hercules was where she unleashed the Lernaean Hydra to attack Hercules and Iolaus. The Lernaean Hydra was slain by Hercules and Iolaus. When Hercules is a prisoner of Hippolyta, Zeus pays Hercules a visit and tells him that Hippolyta and her Amazons are servants of Hera. Hippolyta later speaks with Hera. During the discussion, Hera is displeased with Hippolyta for developing feelings for Hercules. Hippolyta tells Hera that the Amazons have had it with her lies and hatred.
Hera decides to insure her vengeance by possessing Hippolyta. As Hippolyta, Hera orders the Amazons to ride to Gargarencia and leave nothing left standing. Ultimately, the women cannot destroy the men and their village. Hercules has to fight "Hippolyta" to save both the men and the Amazons. Pithus tries to come to Hercules' aid, but "Hippolyta" slits his throat.
When Hercules has a chance to kill the possessed Hippolyta, he cannot do it as he would also be killing the woman he loves. Knowing the pain it will cause Hercules, "Hippolyta" takes a suicidal dive into a ravine. Hercules later went back in time with Zeus' help and prevented Hippolyta from siding with Hera (HTLJ: "Hercules and the Amazon Women").
Hera's Blue Cult led by the Blue Priest occupied Troy when King Ilus was unable to sacrifice his daughter Deianeira of Troy. Right after the Blue Priest is slain by Hercules, Zeus appears to tell his son that Hera still wants Dieaneria. When Hercules refuses to grant her that demand, Hera instead takes him as a sacrifice. Zeus assures the worried Dieaneria that Hera won't dare kill his son. This proves to be true as Hera drops Hercules back on Earth (HTLD: "Hercules and the Lost Kingdom").
Hera later stole Prometheus's torch in order to rob Earth of it's fire. Hercules found the torch on top of a mountain surrounded by a circle of fire. After Hercules threw the torch all the way back to Prometheus' lair, he started to collapse in the circle of fire. Zeus threatened Hera not to kill Hercules or he will haunt her decision on this. This forced Hera to spare Hercules (HTLJ: "Hercules and the Circle of Fire").
After defeating Hera's minion Eryx, Hercules takes the peacock feather he earned to Hera's temple in order to call a truce with her. Hera defies Hercules so he destroys her temple. Zeus appears and tells Hercules that he will only make things worse between him and Hera (HTLJ: "Hercules in the Underworld").
Hera later sends a giant fireball to Hercules' house which kills Deianeira while she slept. This caused Hercules to swear a lifetime vengeance on Hera and even plans to take down Hera's temples. (HTLJ: "The Wrong Path").
Hera was shown to have a Sacred Vineyard near Traycus which was guarded by her worshipers led by Castor and the Cyclops. After the Cyclops enlisted by Hera's worshipers failed to kill Hercules, Hera sent her Executioners to kill Hercules. They were all defeated by Hercules and the Cyclops (HTLJ: "Eye of the Beholder").
When a group of homeless villagers are making their way to Calydon, Broteas steals a chalice from an abandoned town of Parthus which angers Hera. The seer tells Hercules about the abandoned town which is cursed. At night, the seer goes into the temple where the chalice was kept and has a vision of a beautiful woman being given the chalice by Zeus. He also sees Hera exact her revenge on the villagers by turning them all to dust. Hercules wakes the next day to find the villagers about to sacrifice the food he had given them to Hera. Hera later sends the Lead Bounty Hunter and his minions after Hercules and the homeless villagers. They were defeated by Hercules. After Broteus was discovered to have stolen the chalice, Hercules takes the chalice and throws it very far (HTLJ: "The Road to Calydon").
Hera later chains Prometheus to a rock causing Earth to lose the gift of fire and medicine. This caused Xena and Gabrielle to team up with Hercules and Iolaus to obtain the Sword of Hephaestus which would free Prometheus (XWP: "Prometheus").
100 years ago, Hera was responsible for trapping Typhon's foot in a rock so that she can have Echidna and her children do bad things. Hercules was able to free Typhon. Hera later sends a sign to Maceus to work with the freed Echidna to destroy Hercules (HTLJ: "Cast a Giant Shadow").
Once Hera fell in love with a mortal, but Aphrodite seduced him first and like punisher Hera curse her son Cupid, that if he ever felt unrequited love for a mortal, he would turn into a Green-Eyed Monster (HTLJ: "The Green-Eyed Monster").
Hercules, Iolaus, and Jason flash back to their youth when Hera in the form of a young girl manipulated Medea to make sure that Hercules doesn't survive against the Ghidra. After the Ghidra was slain, Hera in her young girl disguise showed up and made Medea disappear before getting away (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys: "Medea Culpa").
Hera shows up in person and says she came to make an "offer of peace", saying they always had their "contempt for Zeus in common". Hercules replies that they never had anything in common. Hera begins to tell him how Zeus fell out of love with her, but Hercules stops her and tells Hera that she only loves herself and that she couldn't go against Zeus so she took all her anger out on humanity. Then Hera says she just wanted to understand what Zeus had done to her and that the world was less important. Hercules says the world is important to him. Hera then vows that now Hercules is a god now and that she doesn't want to fight with him anymore and that it's zeus she hates.
Hercules says why don't you say what you're trying to say. Hera tells him "Do you believe that Zeus brought you to Olympus just to help mankind?", laughs and disappears. Hera later visits Alcmene in the Elysian Fields. Zeus is on his throne when Hera walks in. She says that every ally he ever had, including his son, has deserted him. Hera then adds that she thought she could only take over with the help of the other gods, but she now knows that Zeus will hand his power over to her. Zeus replies that he'd rather destroy Olympus first. Hera waves her hand and Alcmene appears surrounded by fire and Zeus threatens Hera by says what makes you think l won't cover the whole world with your dead ashes!?. She says that if Zeus does anything to her, he will never find Alcmene. With no choice, Zeus hands his godhood over to Hera. Hera then banishes him from Olympus saying that he can join the mortals he so admired.
When Zeus flirts with a woman at a bar and defeats some opponents Hera sends Ares to kill him. Hercules saves him from ares and then the still mortal Zeus meet Hera and Apollo on Olympus. Apollo rushes Hercules with his speeder, but Hercules delivers a well-placed punch. Hera then flies through the air and kicks Hercules. Hera gets off with the advantage and has the better of the fight. With two lightning bolts, she pushes Hercules back to where the past and present are stored. Hera tells Hercules that this is the Abyss of Tartarus and that "old Cronos is down there somewhere, captive until the end of time".
Hercules tries to fight back, but Hera blocks all of his punches and then lands some of her own. Hercules is standing next to the railing that separates him from the abyss, almost keeling over from the beating he's taken and Hera walks away. She suddenly turns around, fires a lightning bolt and Hercules falls over the railing. Hera walks up towards the edge of the platform, looks down and Hercules punches her in the face. Hercules is holding onto the railing with one hand and Hera places her foot on it and squeezes down, then comments "i'm going to miss you, Hercules". He succeeds in climbing back over the railing by placing his other hand on the railing, vaulting up into the air, and kicking Hera in the back of the head. The kick pushes Hera over the railing, and she screams "Hercules!" as she falls down into the abyss of Tartarus. Hercules peers over the railing and responds "i won't miss you". (HTLJ: "Reunions").
A while later, Zeus used his grandson Evander (the son of Nemesis) to use his powers to release Hera from the prison with amnesia. Hoping to regain his marriage back, Zeus reconnected with his wife, who unfortunately was given her memories back by Ares (who payed a visit to The Fates) and attempted to get her revenge on Hercules, remembering he pushed her into the abyss of Tartarus. With the help of Hercules, Hera decided to end her vendetta and give Zeus another chance after helping to heal Evander (HTLJ: "Full Circle").
When the Twilight of the Gods began to come to fruition, Zeus targeted Xena and her unborn daughter, as the Fates had predicted that she would bring about the Twilight. While Hades and most of the other gods sided with Zeus, Hera made a vow to herself to never hurt humanity again. She solemnly helped Hercules to obtain a Rib of Kronos which could be used to kill Zeus and save Xena along with her unborn child. In retaliation, Zeus confronted Hera and kissed her one last time before killing her, marking her as the first casualty of the Twilight.
Powers and Abilities[edit | edit source]
Hera has the powers of an Olympic god, as she is one of the most powerful olympians, Hera is so powerful that she can petrify the gods when she petrified Zeus and and when Hera fights Hercules, Hera managed to subdue him.
Background[edit | edit source]
- Hera was played by Meg Foster when the character was finally revealed in person. Prior to that, she was voiced at various points by Joy Watson, Elizabeth Hawthorne and Narelle Swenson.
- In spite of being the series' primary villain (even being addressed as such in the opening credits) she does not appear in her "true" form until the finale of season four. Until that point, she had appeared in disguise or much more memorably as a set of disembodied eyes with peacock feathers for irises and a menacing voice.
- Hera is the only character apart from Hercules and Iolaus to appear in both the series premiere and the series finale of HTLJ. Beyond the series, she appears in both his first televised appearance and his last, an honor she shares with Zeus.
- A theme of peacock feathers and iridescence was adopted for Hera and her minions in HTLJ. This extends to her costume, which features a collar of feathers, a series of crystals on the bustier and an iridescent cape (although the dark color makes this difficult to see).
- In For Those of You Just Joining Us, Hera's distinctive theme music is played whenever Norma Bates appears.
- Ironically, in the original myths, Hera is the patron of Jason, and Hera set aside her vendetta with Heracles so that he could aid her champion in the quest for the Golden Fleece. In HTLJ, she is as antagonistic to Jason as she is to any ally of Hercules.
- In Hercules, Hera and Hecate are sisters, it is not specified if Hera is sister of Zeus, as in the myth, it is unknown, if she is the mother of the other children of Zeus.
- According to Hercules Hera is the daughter of darkness.
See Also[edit | edit source]
- Hera Stone
- Seven Temples of Hera
- Hera's Chalice
- Hera's Executioners
- Hera's Archers
- Hera's Guards
- Sign of Hera
- Hera 2
Notable kills[edit | edit source]