|“||Tick, tick, tick. You see each clock tick means a soul has left my domain. Do I look like I like to lose anything?||„|
Hades is the main antagonist of the second half of Season 5 in the ABC fantasy series Once Upon a Time. Based on his Disney counterpart, he is the god of death and ruler of the Underworld who lords over the souls of the departed and takes pleasure in using other villains as his suppliers of souls. He is the younger brother ofZeus and uncle of Hercules, and is the second oldest character in the entire series, being the god of death. Being an immortal deity, he is considered the supreme antagonist of the series.
He seeks to keep as many people trapped there as possible, leaving them with "unfinished business" for all eternity, however he has a hidden agenda in the form of restarting his heart, granting him the ability to leave the Underworld and gain absolute power over the realm of the living, along with using the Olympian Crystal, a weapon that is said to destroy souls and can even erase gods from existence.
He was portrayed by Greg Germann, who models his performance after Hades' aforementioned Disney counterpart.
Before First Curse
Hades was a deity and the younger brother of Zeus but also a son of benevolent Kronos, the former King of Mount Olympus. At some point Kronos chose Zeus to be the heir to his throne and ruler of Mount Olympus, but Hades became angered and thus he decided to destroy his own father in his bed chamber by using the Olympian Crystal, the ultimate weapon which should only ever be wielded by the King of Mount Olympus. After Hades had erased his own father, Zeus arrived and saw the horror of what Hades had done. Before Hades could erase Zeus, his older brother made his heart cease to beat and only True Love's Kiss could restart it so that Hades could return to the Land of Living. After that, Hades became the ruler of the Underworld, where he oversees souls of people who have unfinished business, while Zeus rules Mount Olympus and gains everything that Hades had wanted. This fuels the latter's animosity towards his older brother.
A couple of centuries earlier, Hades appears to Captain Hook's brother, Liam, at the ship they were boarded in and makes a deal with him in order for the latter and his brother to join the Royal Navy. The deal was as follows; he and his brother would be able to survive the storm, be given the treasure known as the Eye of the Storm and be allowed into an official navy, but only if he agreed to let the rest of the ship's crew die in the water. Liam accepts the deal, and thus the crew goes to the Underworld after their deaths.
Arriving to Oz, Hades introduces himself to the Wicked Witch, Zelena, who he thanks for sending many souls to the Underworld. He offers to help her track down the Scarecrow since she needs his brain for a time spell, and because he believes she won't get far in her plan with Dorothy in her way. Zelena rejects his help, but when she returns to her palace, Hades is there. He mistakes a green cupcake for Zelena celebrating her own birthday, but she coldly refutes this, stating she doesn't know her birthdate because her mother abandoned her. Hades continues to offer assistance with the Scarecrow and he tells her about his own rivalry with his older brother. He takes her to find Dorothy's old bicycle, which Zelena can enchant to track down Dorothy, who is protecting the Scarecrow. Seeing Zelena's curiosity about the bike, Hades persuades her to hop on for a ride with him. After this spontaneous bout of fun, the bike crashes and the pair end up side by side on the ground, giddy with laughter.
Tracking Dorothy to a cottage, they watch from afar, waiting for a sign of the Scarecrow. Hades openly flirts with Zelena, and as she leans in to kiss him, the moment is interrupted by the Scarecrow exiting the cottage. Zelena then takes the Scarecrow's brain, but instead of killing Dorothy, she lets her live so the people of Oz will know she failed them. After witnessing all this, Hades returns to the palace ahead of Zelena, in order to prepare a celebratory dinner for her. When Zelena comes back, he professes his love for her, and his belief that a kiss of true love between them will free him so they can be together. Zelena nearly believes him, however, she accuses him of using her to get the time spell for himself. She insists that if he does love her, he won't stand in the way of her revenge. With a tone of finality, she sends him away, telling him to never show his face again. Before disappearing, Hades warns that she will regret her choice.
After Third Curse
Cora meets with Hades, having failed him. She was to make Regina leave, and in return, they would both be saved. He tells her that every tick of the clock indicated that another soul has left his Underworld, making him angry. Hades morphs Cora back into a miller’s daughter, stuck in the Underworld forever.
While Snow White, Emma Swan and Hercules were down in the Underworld Storybrooke mines, he appears before them, refusing to answer the question of why the Underworld looks like Storybrooke, the town created by the Dark Curse and its previous users. He also reveals that his servant Cerberus was the being that killed Hercules, meaning that he never completed his Twelfth Labor and thus has "unfinished business" keeping him from exiting the Underworld and ascending to Mt. Olympus. Though confident that he wouldn't be able to defeat Cerberus, Hades sends the beast after them, but Snow, Hercules and Hades' prisoner Megara manage to kill it, turning it into a puff of black smoke after piercing its three heads. Shortly after, he tells the badly-wounded Captain Hook that his potential rescuers are causing trouble, having made three souls already leave for Mt. Olympus (Regina's father Henry, Hercules and Megara); when asked why he should care, Hades told the badly-beaten pirate that for every soul that they save, one of them will have to stay behind, emphasizing that point by creating three tombstones. He then tells Hook that he is the one who shall decide which one of them stays, then smiles evilly.
Because Hook refuses to follow his orders, Hades hangs him on a chain over the River of Lost Souls, leaving him to be lowered into the river over time. While Emma enters the lair to rescue Hook, Milah and Mr. Gold stay behind on their boat. After freezing Milah, Hades propositions Mr. Gold into stopping the heroes from leaving the Underworld in exchange for his return trip home. Desperate to return to Belle, Mr. Gold burns the boat and throws Milah into the River of Lost Souls, although he later begrudges Hades for forcing his hand. Hades then agrees to let him go home someday, but for now, he has other plans for him. With a crystal ball, he conjures the image of Mr. Gold's wife Belle in Storybrooke, before revealing he knows the secret Mr. Gold is keeping from him, that Belle is pregnant. Hades brings up Mr. Gold's unfulfilled deal with deceased Fendrake, whom he had owed his second-born child. Seeing as Fendrake already sold this deal contact to him, Hades intimidates Mr. Gold into continuing to be his lackey, or he'll take away Belle's child upon cashing in the debt.
Discovering Liam is helping the heroes find the storybook to uncover his weakness, Hades pays the older Jones brother a visit at the Rabbit Hole, where Captain Silver sees them. After making himself a drink, Hades orders Liam to destroy the pages featuring his story, or he'll tell Killian about him letting the ship crew perish. Liam carries out this command, but Killian learns the truth anyway, after both of them are kidnapped by Captain Silver and the crewmen, who want revenge on Liam. Hades arrives to send Captain Silver into the fiery abyss, and he prepares to do the same to Killian, as penance for escaping the lair. Because Liam speaks in his brother's defense, Hades throws him over instead. Despite that Killian tries to pull him up, Liam insists he has to pay for the mistake he made in the past. As Liam falls into the pit, the abyss changes, allowing him entry into Mount Olympus. Horrified at the turn of events, Hades teleports away, after swearing Killian will pay for interfering. Later, the pages that Liam discarded end up in one of the five rivers. Hades picks up a page, which features him and Zelena, before remarking to himself that their "secret" is still safe.
In his lair, Hades has Mr. Gold open a portal to Storybrooke, as he is in a hurry to obtain Zelena's daughter. Instead of just the baby, the portal pulls in Belle and Zelena as well, dumping all three people outside of Underbrooke's nunnery. After finding out Zelena is in the Underworld, Hades steps into town to look for her. She confronts him, believing he wants her baby for the time spell she once denied him of, but Hades denies that was his motivation. He reiterates his love for her, even explaining that he made "Underbrooke" in Storybrooke's image for her, as he knew she once wanted to cast the Dark Curse. As another attribute of his love, Hades reveals he tried to take the baby, for Zelena's sake, to get her away from the heroes. He asks her to stay with him and promises to help retrieve her daughter from Regina, but Zelena refuses his help, still unable to trust him completely. He reveals to her that her birthday is on April 15, information he got from Cora after torturing her.
Hades watches Zelena from a distance and suddenly notices that flowers have been growing for the first time in the Underworld as a sign of hope from the people there because of the heroes vowing to set everyone free. To put a stop to it, he assigns Gaston the task of destroying Mr. Gold, who has predictably betrayed him, giving Gaston arrows coated in water from the River of Lost Souls. Hades informs Belle that if Gold or Gaston throw the other into the River, he will tear up the contract and let the child go free. Belle stops Gold from throwing in Gaston by using the dagger, but an enraged Gaston tries to shoot Gold and Belle pushes him away from Gold in defense; the result being Gaston being consumed by the River. Hades calls off the deal with Belle because neither Gold nor Gaston finished each other. He notices a withered flower and picks it for Zelena, calling it beautiful, delivering it to her.
At her Underbrooke home, Zelena mulls over the flower she received, when Hades shows up to warn her about Ruby's recent appearance in the Underworld. Zelena decides to leave the Underworld to keep herself from doing something she'll regret, but Hades suggests she stay because he can give her whatever she wants. Zelena firmly declines, having made up her mind, though Hades promises that, regardless, he will take care of Ruby for her. After Zelena admits to the heroes that Dorothy is under a sleeping curse, they seek out Dorothy's deceased Auntie Em to wake her with true love's kiss. At Auntie Em's diner, Hades inconspicuously sits at a booth having a meal, while the heroes fail to notice him. Emma quickly prompts Auntie Em to blow a kiss in a bottle so it can be delivered to Dorothy in Oz. As soon as Auntie Em uncaps the bottle, however, her whole body melts into a puddle, because Hades added liquid from the River of Lost Souls into it. Regina suspects Zelena put him up to the task since Dorothy is Zelena's sworn enemy, but he insists she knows nothing about this. Hades clarifies that he is using Auntie Em's fate as an example of something else. Using a mason jar, he scoops up some of Auntie Em's liquid remains into it, declaring to the diner citizens that they will meet the same end if they try to help the heroes. As he walks out, he taunts Emma over her inability to save anyone since now no one wants to be saved. Later, Zelena comes to Hades in his lair, deciding to give him a chance after all. He dumps the the collected remains of Auntie Em into the river, to prove he is loyal to Zelena, and to ensure Dorothy remains cursed. Hades realizes Zelena is afraid he will disappoint her, to which Zelena admits it's a chance she'll have to take. After David forfeits his freedom to allow Snow to return to Storybrooke, Hades creates headstones for all the remaining heroes, so none of them can ever leave the Underworld.
Taking Zelena for a ride in his car, Hades brings her to the outskirts of Underbrooke, where they drink by a campfire. Upon showing her a scenic view of the town in the distance, he concludes that she deserves more than just a decayed replica of Storybrooke. Thus, he wants to go to the real Storybrooke with her, after his heart is beating again. When Zelena asks about the plans he had in the Underworld, Hades confirms he will gladly give it up, if he and Zelena can be a family. Zelena doubts Regina and her friends would like the both of them being in Storybrooke, but he explains what he did to trap the heroes for good. Hades believes there's no other way, and that Zelena has to choose between the both of them or Regina. Dropping to his knees, he grasps her hands, asking if she will make chaos with him. Zelena, still indecisive, doesn't agree to his proposal, but she doesn't decline, either. Through a magic hand mirror, Regina sees Zelena's entire exchange with Hades, and she later attempts to forbid Zelena from ever seeing Hades again. Zelena objects, believing she can help change Hades from a villain into a better person. Cora and Regina attempt to lure Zelena into drinking a potion so she'll forget Hades for good, but Zelena sees through their deception. After a sisterly revelation and helping Cora move on, Regina finally gives her blessing for Zelena to be with Hades. In the diner, Hades prepares a candlelit date for himself and Zelena. He magicks the jukebox on, and as the song plays, Zelena arrives to the outside of the diner, where she sees him inside dancing to the music. Before she can go in, Mr. Gold allows Peter Pan to kidnap her.
Now at his wit's end with Gold and Pan, Hades approaches the gang of heroes and forces them to help him retrieve Zelena from the duo, revealing that they are blackmailing him into tearing up the contract for Gold and Belle's child. Hades doubts they'll hold up their end of the deal, and has Emma sneak attack Pan from behind, promising to remove all the heroes' names from the headstones. After tearing the contract up and retrieving Zelena, she performs True Love's Kiss on him, restarting his heart and allowing him to leave the Underworld. After showing the heroes the fallen clock face, which will soon form a portal to Storybrooke, he removes their names from the tombstones. Regina attempts the heart split between Emma and Hook, but it doesn't work, because Hades points out that Hook's soul has been separated from his body for too long. He warns that even if the heart split does work, Hook will return to a body that has been rotting for a while now. Hades reveals a legend of two people, Orpheus and Eurydice, who did escape the Underworld, after Orpheus fed ambrosia to Eurydice. Since getting ambrosia requires Emma offering her heart for judgement, Hades takes it out and gives it to her. Hades later goes with Zelena and her daughter to wait by the portal for the heroes. Unknown to Zelena, he sent Emma and Hook to get ambrosia when there's none left, and he put a barrier on the library to keep everyone else trapped. With Hades' persuasion, Zelena decides to trust the heroes will make it in time, before following him into the portal.
Arriving to Storybrooke's Toll Bridge, Hades relishes over finally being in the land of the living, while Zelena worries for the heroes. He assures her again that they'll be fine, but he has doubts they won't believe he's changed. Zelena vows to help change their minds, and she then gives her daughter to Hades as a sign of her complete trust in him. Since Hades is concerned over Snow still thinking he's evil, Zelena leaves to convince her otherwise. After she is gone, King Arthur runs into Hades, stating he was unjustly imprisoned and is destined to rule a kingdom. Hades sympathizes with him as he has the same destiny, and he lures Arthur into believing he needs his help, before magically snapping his neck. Later, Hades and Zelena hole up in the mayor's office, where Zelena tells him about her argument with Regina, in which her sister threatened to hurt him. Hades prepares to turn himself in, but when Zelena stops him out of fear of losing him, he suggests that they must fight to defend themselves from the heroes.
No longer restricted by his previously non-beating heart, Hades merges the crystal halves into one, forming the Olympian Crystal - the ultimate weapon that can destroy even a god. He believes that, with the crystal, they will show everyone that they are wrong and the two can live any life they want. Hades proposes they can even rule Storybrooke, hinting at his true plan, though a surprised Zelena admits she envisioned living in the town, with a house for them and garden for her daughter to play in. He agrees with her ideas, but again, he insists they may have no choice but to fight for survival, which turns out to be exactly what he wants. In a phone call, Mr. Gold offers protection to Hades in exchange for a piece of the crystal, noting that he is now in Gold's own kingdom, but the latter rejects him. After the crystal is repaired, Zelena discovers Emma breaking the protection spell to get in and fight the god, and Zelena goes to confront her, taking Emma by surprise and taking the pages, angry that Emma is trying to kill her love. Hades leaves the office, while Regina and Robin break in to steal the baby. They turn around to see the malevolent death god pointing the Crystal directly at Regina.
In a final confrontation with the duo, Hades reveals that he is going to end Regina forever - her soul will not be able to go to the Underworld. He tells Regina that this is her punishment for trying to turn Zelena against him. Robin tries to bargain, saying that it's his fault, and that Hades should use the weapon on him instead, but Hades tells him "Sorry, ladies first," and strikes out with a powerful lightning bolt, which Robin jumps in front of just in time to save Regina at the cost of his own life and soul. When Zelena returns, Hades lies about killing Robin to protect her from him. Zelena questions him about trapping the heroes in the Underworld, which he admits to doing so they wouldn't have to hurt anyone. Since they are at odds with the heroes now, Hades insists the only way to save themselves is to use the crystal to create a new kingdom, indirectly revealing that Zelena alone would never be enough for him, and a grand powerful world with him as the immortal ruler was what he had truly wanted all along. Zelena doesn't care about having that, but Hades reminds her of their shared ideology of getting revenge by having it all.
Regina flies at Hades and knocks him over, sending the crystal to the floor. Zelena retrieves it first, and Hades immediately starts manipulating her to kill Regina, who tried to come between them. Regina defies Hades by speaking the truth to Zelena and telling her that she would never turn against her. Zelena, still directing the crystal at Regina under the death god's influence, says in a voice choked with tears that she believed that what they had together would be enough for herself and Hades, and she now realizes that nothing ever will be. In a flash, she fully impales the death god with the mighty crystal, shocking him and saving the life of Regina. With a yell of "ZELENA!", the death god is vaporized by the crystal's might and obliterated once and for all, having been fully erased from existence, leaving only a pile of dust and a broken shard on the floor.
With Hades gone, Zelena and Regina reconcile, Gold retrieves a piece of the Crystal from the dust that was once the immortal god, stating he should have taken his deal and that it's his kingdom, and Zeus thanks Hook for helping the heroes stop his "misguided" younger brother, and allows Hook to return to the world of the living.
Since the crystal is able to erase, and prevent souls from access to the Underworld entirely, it seems that what may or may not remain of Hades' soul will never be able to plague the Underworld or the living again. This brings an end to the Underworld arc, with the season 5 finale being completely unrelated.
However, both the creators of the show and Henry have stated that Hades could easily have been messing with the heroes when he noted that the Crystal erases someone permanently; if this is true, then Robin is implied to have either moved on to the "Better Place" (presumably Heaven and/or Mount Olympus) or been reborn in part in the Dream Realm, while it is unknown if Hades' soul is truly erased or still exists.
Able to scare even the Dark One with a smile and a laugh, Hades's reputation as the merciless God of the Underworld always precedes him, striking terror into whomever is unlucky enough to cross his path. He carries himself with an air of supreme arrogance and smugness due to his status as a god and makes full use of his terrifying presence at every opportunity.
Contrary to his terrifying and dangerous reputation, Hades always greets everyone with a kindly smile and loves to make jokes in conversations with them both to throw his opponents off balance and because he literally has no reason to fear anyone as god of the Underworld. Even when he is defied he considers it more funny than irritating though he is quick to punish said defiance regardless of his outer mood.
However, underneath his mocking and contemptuous smile, Hades is supremely evil, petty, cruel, sadistic, and manipulative about the souls in his realm and has no qualms whatsoever about tricking, extorting, blackmailing or torturing (physically and/or psychologically) to achieve his ends. While he does appear to have real love for Zelena (otherwise True Love's Kiss would not have worked), he is entirely shameless in being dishonest to even her about "doing everything for her", when in actuality he plans on dominating the living world and surpassing his brother using the Crystal.
Powers and Abilities
- Immortality: Hades, as God of the Underworld, does not age at all, is unaffected by illness and disease and cannot die by any known means, the one true exception being the Olympian Crystal (which can erase anything and anyone, even a god such as himself or Zeus). When a fully-powered Gold brandishes the Dark One's Dagger at him, he simply laughs and tells him to "Put that squiggly thing away", implying that even the Dagger is harmless to him.
- Omniscience: Hades is fully aware of everything and everyone in his domain right down to the smallest micro-detail. He also has the power to control the appearance of the Underworld, able to model it after Storybrooke (even if he can't suppress details proper to the essence of the Underworld who is like he said himself a place of destruction (like the broken clock and the red sky)).
- Magic: As a god, Hades wields near-incalculable magical power that far outstrips most other OUAT characters including that of Mr. Gold (who currently wields the combined power of all Dark Ones including himself twice over), and the Sorcerer Merlin. His powers include but are not limited to :
- Unikinesis: He is able to manipulate the elements and matters of the Universe with his mind only.
- Advanced Telekinesis/Psychokinesis: He can move objects with his mind.
- Pyrokinesis: He can generate and manipulate fire at will.
- Reality-Warping: He can warp reality in the use of a deal.
- Conjuration: He can make objects appear out of nowhere.
- Teleportation: He can teleport himself in an erosion of blue flames.
- Super-Strength: He is far stronger than normal humans.
- Projection: The ability to manipulate reality.
- Power Neutralizing: In his domain, he prevented the heroes from using their magic powers.
- Apportation: He is able to teleport objects from one place to another.
- Umbrakinesis: The ability to manipulate shadows and darkness.
- Unikinesis: He is able to manipulate the elements and matters of the Universe with his mind only.
- Invulnerability: Hades cannot be hurt or harmed in any way by any known means, save for the Olympian Crystal, which can dissolve gods such as himself and Zeus. He notes that light magic doesn't agree with him, but it does not mean that light magic can harm him, merely shield a person or area from his evil.
- His casting call describes him as "a mysterious, dangerous and vindictive God-like figure known obscurely as 'The Distinguished Gentleman' or 'DG'". He is also described as "a mysterious figure with god-like powers who is always clad in a perfectly tailored suit", someone who can "strike fear into people just by being friendly", and "the last person you ever want to share a drink with".
- His attire resembles one of Mr. Gold's suits that he wore during the first season.
- Hades, being a god, is the most powerful Once Upon a Time villain. His abilities far exceed those of any other villain. The only true threats to Hades are Zeus, his older brother, and the Olympian Crystal. Even the Dark One Rumplestiltskin, who now has the powers of every Dark One who ever lived, is unable to harm him.
- Hades is the Bigger Bad in the first half of Season 5 as his immense power over his realm is part of what drove Nimue and the other Dark Ones to leave the Underworld.
- He also counts as a Bigger Bad for the whole series because he has existed longer and is more dangerous than any other villain, also collecting every soul killed by every main antagonist before him, claiming that these villains act as his "suppliers".
- Hades is the first character in OUAT to not only outdo Mr. Gold in exploiting contract loopholes but consequently putting Gold in debt to him as well.
- Hades is similar to the following villains:
- Grings Kodai from Pokemon: Zoroark--Master of Illusions: They are sadistic and manipulative individuals who blackmailed powerful entities into doing their bidding (Kodai: Zoroark, Hades: Rumplestiltskin). However, unlike Hades, Kodai is Pure Evil (and given that Hades is a god, that's saying something).
- Bill Cipher from the Disney XD TV series Gravity Falls:
- Both characters are the most powerful known villains in their respective universes.
- Both have powerful magical abilities represented by blue fire.
- Both of them enjoy striking deals.
- They are immortal beings (while Bill Cipher was destroyed, it was not confirmed to be permanent).
- They terrify other former main villains (Bill terrified Li'l Gideon and Hades scared Rumple after forcing him into servitude).
- They are both very comedic yet very frightening and are treated with the utmost seriousness by the main cast.
- Both needed to be destroyed by a reality-warping weapon (Bill was erased by the Memory Gun and Hades was erased by the Olympian Crystal)
- Much like Bill, Hades is the Bigger Bad in the first half of the story arc (although he is not revealed until the end of the first half) before seizing the position of main antagonist in the second half.
- Although Hades may not be a Complete Monster, seeing as his love for Zelena appears to be genuine (True Love's Kiss worked), he is not above manipulating the one he loves most for more power over both the town and presumably his brother Zeus, and he still counts as the series' most dangerous villain, being a god as well as having power over the most dangerous weapon in existence, placing him above all other villains (Pure Evil villains included) on the danger scale.
- Hades' goal to go back in time and defeat Zeus is similar to Zelena's goal in Season 3 (which was to go back in time and make sure that she was never given up for adoption and thus eliminate Regina from existence) however he changed his plan to using True Love's Kiss to escape the Underworld and forge the Crystal and gain revenge on everyone.
- It is unknown how powerful Fiona the Black Fairy is in comparison to Hades, as the cast and writers have called her "the most powerful enemy", however this seems nonsensical as she is not a god and there are possible means of destroying her which would not work on him.