We Know.
―The Fates' catchphrase


The Fates are a group of deities in Disney's 1997 animated feature film, Hercules. These three sisters share one eye, which they use to see the future. They also determine the deaths of mortals, cutting a mortal's Thread of Life to send them to the Well of Souls in the Underworld. They have extreme psychic abilities, knowing everything that has happened, is happening and will happen, and are an authority above the gods in this respect, though the one thing they cannot do is kill a god.

Background

Development

Lachesis was voiced by the late Carole Shelley, Clotho by Amanda Plummer, and Atropos by the late Paddi Edwards. All three of The Fates were animated by Nancy Beiman.

Like all characters in Hercules, the Fates were designed by Gerald Scarfe who, known for his drawings of the deformed and grotesque, enjoyed designing characters such as the Fates and Hades more than 'beautiful' characters such as Hercules and Meg. One of Scarfe's early drawings for the Fates depicted Clotho wearing a cowl, which was at such an angle, that one of her eye sockets was covered. Beiman took this to mean that Clotho had only one eye socket; ultimately, it is Atropos (perhaps the most 'mysterious' Fate) who appears with a single eye socket in the film.

As design progressed, the Fates' bodies became less and less human, with little suggestion of any form under their clothes. Scarfe initially did not like this idea and drew the Fates in the nude as a key for Beiman to follow, but ultimately Ron Clements and John Musker approved of the 'nonhuman' nature of these bizarre, deformed characters, and they appear accordingly in the film. Beiman commented that the Fates have no feet.

Personality

They appear to relish ending mortal's lives, each looking on with glee as Atropos cuts each thread (though they will only cut at each designated time and will not kill a mortal prematurely). They are not allied with Hades, and are not denizens of the Underworld; however, they seem to prefer Hades to the gods on Mount Olympus, at one point referring to Hercules as a 'bouncing baby brat' though this is probably because they live in Underworld, making Hades their landlord of sorts.

The three sisters bicker among themselves. They often snatch their single eye from one another quite aggressively and do not always agree on matters.

Physical appearance

The Fates resemble demonic hags dressed in simple black cloaks. They seem rather proud that they 'know everything', and never hesitate to emphasize this claim. This is only challenged at one point in Hercules, perhaps for the purposes of dramatic effect.

  • Lachesis is the tallest of the three, with blue skin and a long pointed nose. Her role is to measure out a person's Thread of Life, so she knows all of the past. She appears to have a spider living in her nose; at one point, it makes a bid for freedom, but she sends it back up her nostril with a sniff. She seems to be the most grumpy and disapproving of the three.
  • Clotho is the middle-sized one with green skin, yellow worm-like hair, and a long pointed chin. Her role is to spin the Thread of Life, so she knows all of the present. She is the most friendly of the three with Hades, and her readiness to provide him with information is frowned upon by Lachesis and Atropos.
  • Atropos is short and plump with mauve skin, green serpent-like hair, and a single eye socket. Her role is to cut the Thread of Life, so she can see the future. Her role possibly makes her the most deadly and powerful of the three. She's also the most intelligent of the three.

Powers and abilities

  • As goddesses, the Fates possess the natural abilities and strength of an Olympian goddess such as immortality, omnipresence, omniscience, superhuman strength, metamorphosis, and teleportation.
  • As the goddesses of destiny, the Fates watch over and weave the tapestry of fate and destiny. They are also able to see into the future and therefore know the outcome of all event to come. However, the weaving of the tapestry is not something only they can do, anyone who can use the loom the tapestry is created with is able to weave it and alter fate, however, this can have catastrophic results and only the Fates can properly weave the tapestry and maintain order and balance in the cosmos.

Appearances

Hercules

Following the celebration of the god Hercules' birth, Hades calls the Fates to the Underworld, where he asks them whether Hercules will interfere with his plan to take over Mount Olympus. They reveal some of the future to him (reluctantly, on the part of Lachesis and Atropos). Clotho reveals that, in eighteen years, the planets will align; Lachesis reveals that Hades will then release the Titans from their prison. Clotho says that Hades will overthrow Zeus with their power, but Atropos warns that he will only succeed if Hercules does not interfere.

They are later shown cutting Megara's Thread of Life, a while after she, saving Hercules, is crushed by a pillar. After Hercules defeats the Titans at Olympus, Hades angrily returns to the Underworld; Hercules, after witnessing Megara's death, goes to Hades to plead for Megara's soul. Hades lets him dive into the Well of Souls to recover Meg's soul, knowing that a mortal will die quickly in the vortex.

While Hercules swims after Meg' soul, the Fates prepare to cut his Thread of Life. However, the thread turns golden and unbreakable, leaving Atropos unable to cut the thread, indicating Hercules' transformation from mortal human to immortal god. The fact that the Fates don't realize this at first suggests either that they don't in fact know everything, or that they're sometimes forgetful. It may also indicate that it is possible to change one's fate.

Hercules: The Series

The Fates appeared in a few episodes of the animated series. Like the Muses, they are the only characters in the series that interact, bicker, and banter with Bob the Narrator. Their largest role in the series was the episode "Hercules and the Tapestry of Fate", Hercules and Icarus want to go to an Orpheus concert, but they find it sold out, and so seek out the aid of the Fates, when Zeus cannot help. Hercules distracts them while Icarus reweaves fate to allow them to go to the concert. This gives Hades the idea to reweave his own fate, making him king of the gods, Phil a janitor, Icarus the inventor of capable wings, Hercules himself a god and Hades' son, and Zeus guardian of the Tapestry and ruler of the Underworld. Hercules uses his strength as a god to destroy the Tapestry and reweave it back to normal; the Fates give them tickets as a reward, only for them to find the concert has been canceled. In the episode Hercules and the Visit From Zeus, Hades learns from the Fates that Zeus was in the form of a teenager. In an attempt to be rid himself of Zeus once and for all he sends his troublesome dog Cerberus after Zeus while he's still mortal.

In "Hercules and the Big Kiss", Hades tries to use the Fates all seeing eye to see his future regarding Aphrodite causing the Fates to be cross with him. Still desperate to learn his future Hades makes a deal with Cassandra for her soul on weekends once he has successfully stopped Icarus from kissing her.

In "Hercules and the Twilight of the Gods", the Fates are revealed to be double-dipping Greek and Norse mythology. However, they deny being the Fates and insists that they are the Norns.

In "Hercules and the Big Sink", the Fates state that Atlantis City will not sink in order to disprove Cassandra's prediction of it sinking. However, the fight between Herc and Scylla causes the Fates to accidentally cut Atlantis City out of the Tapestry of Fate, causing it to sink. The Fates make a cameo in the episode "Hercules and the River Styx" during Hades song "My Town". In the episode "Hercules and the Underworld Takeover", The Fates appear alongside Cerberus and Hades' monstrous underling during Hecate's hostile takeover of the Underworld.

House of Mouse

The Fates appeared in various episodes of House of Mouse, each voiced by Tress MacNeille.

In "Clarabelle's Christmas List", Clarabelle Cow borrows their eye to guard Santa's Naughty or Nice list from the rest of the staff who wants to see where they ended up.

In "Clarabelle's Big Secret", Atropos is surprised when Clarabelle declares that she is discontinuing "Main Street Gossip", commenting that not even she, with her ability to know all that will happen in the future, had expected Clarabelle to do so.

In Mickey's House of Villains, they were amongst the Disney Villains that took over the club. The Fates also thwart Donald's attempt to scare them by literally keeping their eye on him.

Once Upon a Time

The Fates don't appear in the series but are mentioned in the episode "Street Rats".

Video games

Hercules Playstation Game

The Fates make a small cameo appearance on one of the menus in the Hercules PlayStation Game, with a Fate standing underneath each menu category. The highlighted category causes the Fate underneath to snatch the eye from the Fate next to her.

Differences from the source material

The Fates in the film are a combination of the Fates of Greek Mythology (also known as the Moirae) and the Graeae, three hag-like creatures featured in the story of Perseus. While the Fates take their inspiration greatly from the Moirae, their physical appearances and trait of owning one eye are borrowed from the Graeae. Conversely, the Fates seen in the film and their role as weavers of fate is faithful to the Moirae. However, neither the Graeae nor the Moirae appear in the original Hercules myth.

Trivia

  • Chaos once stated even he doesn't like playing cards with Fate. Considering the crossover between the two franchises, it is possible these were the Fates he was alluding to. Further confusing the matter is his referring to "Fate" states that Fate is male.
  • Their role in Hercules is perhaps similar to that of the Witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth; not only do they resemble hags, but they also reveal the events of the future in verse (much to Hades' annoyance), and do not reveal all of the truth (they do not say whether Hercules will fight, making it unclear whether Hades will succeed or fail).
  • Paddi Edwards, the voice of Atropos, was best known to Disney fans as the voice of Ursula's minions, Flotsam and Jetsam in The Little Mermaid feature film and television series. In addition, she was also known for providing the voice of Gozer in the original Ghostbusters film.
  • In Norse mythology, it is stated that they decide the date of everything. Owing their appearance as the Norns, that would mean that Clotho is Verthandi, Lachesis is Urd, and Atropos is Skuld.
  • The Fates' eyes resemble the style of 1930s cartoon eyes and Shy Guys' eyes in Mario video games.
  • Atropos and Lachesis have very similar appearances to Pain and Panic respectively. The only differences between Atropos and Pain is that she has purple skin and one eye socket, while he has magenta skin and two eyes.
  • In one episode of House Of Mouse, when the fates sing a musical number, Lachesis and Clotho switch their skin colors. This is most likely an animation error.
  • As shown in Mickey's House of Villains, the Fates are capable of having their heads fall off without dying.
  • Other than the Muses, the Fates are the only characters in the series that interact with Bob the Narrator.
  • While the Fates have not appeared physically in the Kingdom Hearts series, they have been numerous references of them in some capacity:
    • In Kingdom Hearts II, their likeness and appearance were used in the Goddess of Fate Cup in the Underdome tournaments.
    • In Kingdom Hearts III, they were mentioned by the narrator during the opening narration for Olympus.

Gallery

Film

Hercules: The Animated Series

House of Mouse

Concept Art


v - e - d
Hercules transparent.gif
Media
Films: HerculesHercules: Zero to HeroVideoHercules (live-action film)

Television: TV series (Episode list) (Aladdin crossover) • House of Mouse
Video games: Video gameKingdom HeartsKingdom Hearts: Chain of MemoriesKingdom Hearts IIKingdom Hearts 358/2 DaysKingdom Hearts Birth by SleepKingdom Hearts coded Kingdom Hearts χ Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ/Union χKingdom Hearts IIIDisney Emoji BlitzDisney Heroes: Battle ModeDisney Sorcerer's Arena
Music: Soundtrack
Books: Classic StorybookDisney's Wonderful World of ReadingLittle Golden Book

Disney Parks
Disney Animation BuildingIt's a Small WorldSorcerers of the Magic Kingdom

Entertainment: Animazment: The MusicalDisney Dreams: An Enchanted ClassicDisney's WishesHercules: The Muse-icalMickey's Gift of DreamsOnce Upon a MouseVillains Tonight!
Parade: Disney Stars and Motor Cars ParadeHercules Victory ParadeThe Hercules Electrical ParadeThe Wonderful World of Disney Parade
Firework: HarmoniUSHappily Ever AfterWishesWonderful World of Animation
Summer: Stitch and Friends Summer Surprise
Halloween: Disney's Not So Spooky SpectacularHocus Pocus Villain SpelltacularMaze of Madness: The Nightmare Experiment ContinuesMickey's Boo-to-You Halloween ParadeRe-Villains! Halloween ParadeRock on With The Disney VillainsScream and Shout Halloween ParadeThe Villains WorldVillains Night Out!World of Color: Villainous!

Characters
Original: HerculesHadesPegasusPhiloctetesMegaraPain and PanicFatesMusesZeusHeraHermesHestiaHephaestusAthenaAresPoseidonAphroditeOlympian GodsArtemisApolloThebansDionysusTitansCerberusHydraMinotaurSthenoNemean LionNessusFuriesNymphsAmphitryon and Alcmene

TV Series: IcarusCassandraAdonisHelen of TroyTempestCirceTritonGalateaPandoraMedusaEchidnaTyphonEchidna's ChildrenHecateNemesisMr. ParenthesesHomerFear and TerrorIbidAntaeusPrometheusDaedelusMorpheusKronosGaiaAmphitriteAchillesTheseusOrionNestor & MeleagerKing MidasMelampusLavinaAjaxAndromedaSyrinxElectraMr. GriffKing MinosTiviusOrthosQueen HippolyteMomalus

Episodes
Season One: "Hercules and the Apollo Mission" • "Hercules and the King of Thessaly" • "Hercules and the Secret Weapon" • "Hercules and the Assassin" • "Hercules and the Big Kiss" • "Hercules and the River Styx" • "Hercules and the Techno Greeks" • "Hercules and the World's First Doctor" • "Hercules and the Pool Party" • "Hercules and the Prince of Thrace" • "Hercules and the Tapestry of Fate" • "Hercules and the Living Legend" • "Hercules and the Return of Typhon" • "Hercules and the Owl of Athena" • "Hercules and the Girdle of Hippolyte" • "Hercules and the Bacchanal" • "Hercules and the Underworld Takeover" • "Hercules and the Comedy of Arrows" • "Hercules and the Hostage Crisis" • "Hercules and the Disappearing Heroes" • "Hercules and the Argonauts" • "Hercules and the Drama Festival" • "Hercules and the Phil Factor" • "Hercules and the All Nighter" • "Hercules and the Song of Circe" • "Hercules and the Trojan War" • "Hercules and the Dream Date" • "Hercules and the Big Games" • "Hercules and the Jilt Trip" • "Hercules and the Falling Stars" • "Hercules and the Golden Touch" • "Hercules and the Minotaur" • "Hercules and the Son of Poseidon" • "Hercules and the Twilight of the Gods" • "Hercules and the Griffin" • "Hercules and the King For a Day" • "Hercules and the Pegasus Incident" • "Hercules and the Big Sink" • "Hercules and the Big Lie" • "Hercules and the Prom" • "Hercules and the Spartan Experience" • "Hercules and the Complex Electra" • "Hercules and the Long Nightmare" • "Hercules and the Arabian Night" • "Hercules and the Aetolian Amphora" • "Hercules and the Romans" • "Hercules and the Yearbook" • "Hercules and the Odyssey Experience" • "Hercules and the Grim Avenger" • "Hercules and the Spring of Canathus" • "Hercules and the Big Show" • "Hercules and the Tiff on Olympus"

Season Two: "Hercules and the First Day of School"" • "Hercules and the Visit from Zeus" • "Hercules and the Driving Test" • "Hercules and the Parent's Weekend" • "Hercules and the Prometheus Affair" • "Hercules and the Hero of Athens" • "Hercules and the Caledonian Boar" • "Hercules and the Epic Adventure" • "Hercules and the Poseidon's Cup Adventure" • "Hercules and the Muse of Dance" • "Hercules and the Kids" • "Hercules and the Gorgon" • "Hercules and the Green-Eyed Monster"

Songs
Original: The Gospel TruthGo the DistanceOne Last HopeZero to HeroI Won't Say (I'm in Love)A Star is BornShooting StarI Can't Believe My Heart

TV series songs: Send My Boy to SchoolMy TownPromethean DittyThe AgoraThe BacchanalThe Man That I LovePucker Up or Let Him SnoozeThat's How the Story GoesAphrodesia DanceLove Is In The AirSince the Light Went AwayAin't Life a BeachCan-Do KingKronos StoneWhat's a Mother to Do?Sreamin' Grecian Teenage BluesLethe Water on the Brain!One Good ManYou're My Hero

Locations
Ancient GreeceMount OlympusUnderworldPhil's IslandThebesPrometheus AcademyAtlantis City
Objects
Skull PacifierArmageddon BowLightning BoltsMortal PotionTrident
Miscellaneous
Disney Sing Along Songs: From Hercules


v - e - d
Disney Villains Logo.png
Members
The Evil QueenChernabogQueen of HeartsCaptain HookMaleficentCruella De VilUrsulaJafarScarHadesDr. Facilier

Other Disney Animation Villains: PeteBig Bad WolfLonesome GhostsMortimer MouseMagic MirrorHonest JohnGideonStromboliMonstroPink ElephantsRingmasterThe Headless HorsemanLady TremaineAnastasia TremaineDrizella TremaineLuciferCheshire CatCard SoldiersMr. SmeeSi and AmAunt SarahDiabloJasper and HoraceMadam MimKaaShere KhanEdgar BalthazarPrince JohnSir HissSheriff of NottinghamHeffalumpsWoozlesMadame MedusaBrutus and NeroAmos SladeHorned KingProfessor RatiganFeliciaSykesFlotsam and JetsamPercival C. McLeachGastonIagoShenzi, Banzai, and EdGovernor RatcliffeClaude FrolloPain and PanicFatesShan YuClaytonSaborYzmaLyle Tiberius RourkeCaptain GantuDr. Jumba JookibaJohn SilverScroopBowler Hat GuyDorisLawrenceDr. Facilier's ShadowMother GothelStabbington BrothersKing CandySour BillHansDuke of WeseltonYokaiBellwetherTamatoa
Pixar Villains: Sid PhillipsScudHopperMoltEmperor ZurgStinky PeteRandall BoggsHenry J. Waternoose IIIBruceSyndromeChick HicksChef SkinnerAUTOCharles F. MuntzLotsoMiles AxlerodProfessor ZMor'duThunderclapErnesto de la CruzEvelyn DeavorDragon the Cat
Other Villains: Br'er FoxBr'er BearOogie BoogieWinifred SandersonMary SandersonSarah SandersonDr. HämstervielQueen NarissaWicked Witch of the WestRipslingerHitchhiking Ghosts

Disney Parks
Celebrate A Dreams Come True ParadeCelebrate the MagicCinderella Castle Mystery TourClub VillainDisney's FantillusionDisney's Maleficious Halloween PartyDisney's Not-So-Scary Halloween ShowDisney's Once Upon a Dream ParadeDisney Dreams!Disney's Stars 'n' Cars... As Never Seen BeforeFantasmic!Feel the MagicFrightfully Fun ParadeGlow in the Park Halloween ParadeHappy HallowishesHocus Pocus Villain SpelltacularInferno Dance PartyIt's Good To Be Bad With The Disney VillainsIt's Good to Be Bad Villainous CelebrationIt's Party Time... with Mickey and Friends... and the Disney VillainsMickey's Boo-to-You Halloween ParadeMickey and his Magic Halloween NightRe-Villains! Halloween ParadeSorcerers of the Magic KingdomThe Disney Villains Halloween ShowtimeThe Nightmare ExperimentThe Villains WorldUnleash the VillainsVillains GardensVillainy in the SkyVillains Mix and MingleVillains Night Out!Villains Tonight!WishesWorld of Color
Media
Mickey's House of VillainsOnce Upon a HalloweenDescendantsDescendants 3Disney Villains: Simply Sinister SongsDisney Villains Songbook

Video Games: Disney Villains ChallengeDisney's Villains' Revenge
Books: Disney Villains: The Essential GuideDisney Villains: Delightfully Evil: The Creation • The Inspiration • The FascinationDisney Villains: The Essential Guide to the Evilest of Them All

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