- “Name's Hades, Lord of the Dead. Hi, how ya doin'?”
Hades is the main antagonist of Disney's 1997 animated feature film Hercules. He is the fast-talking god of the Underworld, known for having a fiery temper and a vendetta against his eldest brother, Zeus. Over the span of eighteen years, Hades developed a scheme to take over Mount Olympus and the cosmos, but a prophecy by the Fates foretold that a hero would rise against him and end his reign.
While the Hades of Greek mythology was not particularly malevolent, the Disney version portrays him as an evil figure, albeit comedic. This interpretation of the character proved successful, making Hades one of Disney’s most popular antagonists, and a primary member of the Disney Villains line-up.
Hades was granted ownership of the Underworld by Zeus, unwillingly. Unbeknownst to Zeus and the other deities, however, Hades despises the Underworld, as well as his job, finding them both gloomy, depressing, and overbearing. Because of this, Hades secretly plots to overthrow Zeus and rule Mount Olympus as the King of Deities, himself. Though powerful in his own right, Hades is considerably weaker than Zeus and cannot overthrow him alone. As such, he often allies himself with various beasts and creatures lurking through Greece, hiring them to do his bidding; the most notable example being the Titans, who were imprisoned by Zeus eons ago.
In the Underworld, Hades is aided by his two shapeshifting lackeys, Pain and Panic. The two fear Hades immensely and are used as punching-bags during his outbursts, typically as punishment for their incompetence being a recurring hindrance in Hades' schemes. Despite their constant colossal failures and lies, Hades seems to have a surprising amount of faith in these imps as he continuously sends them out with various missions and tasks, most of which are rather major.
Hades is hot-headed, both figuratively and literally. When relaxed or upbeat, his flaming hair and skin retain a calming blue color. When angered, his hair and face become a passionate red/orange.
Originally, Hades was envisioned as a more somber and dramatic villain, in a similar vein of Ursula from The Little Mermaid or Jafar from Aladdin. This early, slow-talking portrayal of the character was intended to be played by Jack Nicholson; so much so, that character designer Gerald Scarfe's initial sketches of Hades bore a resemblance to Nicholson. Nicholson visited the studio and met with directors John Musker and Ron Clements in 1995 to familiarize himself with the character. However, Nicholson left the project because he demanded $10-$15 million, plus a 50% cut of all the proceeds from Hades merchandise, of which Disney declined.
In addition to Nicholson, Willem Dafoe, David Bowie, and John Lithgow were once considered for the role of Hades. Lithgow was released from the role because the directors thought he did not work. Like with the original Nicholson version, Hades was still portrayed in a fairly serious light during auditions.
The direction of the character altered greatly, however, when James Woods auditioned for the role. As the procedure with the previous actors, Woods was asked to give a straightforward performance. Under the belief that he wasn't right for that portrayal, Woods approached Hades casually, delivering dialogue as if he were a sleazy car salesmen. This impressed the filmmakers so much that the character was rewritten into a comical villain with a heavy emphasis on humor. Some of Hades' most memorable lines were ad-libbed by Woods. In the decades following the release of Hercules, Woods has remained openly fond and protective of the role of Hades, and has gone on record saying he will always return to reprise the role should the character be used for any purpose—true to his word, Woods has voiced Hades in everything from television shows, video games, and theme park attractions for over two decades (with the notable exceptions of the "It's Our House Now!" song in Mickey's House of Villains, in which Rob Paulsen did Hades' singing voice.
As the Lord of the Underworld, Hades is a hot-headed fast talker who hates ruling the Underworld. His dream is to take over Mount Olympus. Hades is generally calm, cool, and collected. Though his machinations are cruel, Hades' informal approach to villainy makes him a widely comedic character with a self-aware and irreverent style of humor (though his jokes are usually played for his own, twisted amusement, and at the expense of others). However, this is partly surface-level; Hades is eternally bitter and imperious, with his most famous trait being his uncontrollably fervid temper. At times, the smallest inconveniences can send Hades over the edge, causing fiery fits and extreme damage to the area and people around him, depending on the situation. This quality makes him a feared figure among Greece and beyond, especially in the eyes of his minions, Pain and Panic.
For all his power, Hades is no match for his eldest brother. What Hades lacks in physical strength, however, he makes up for in cunning. He is incredibly meticulous with his scheming, going so far as to patiently wait eighteen years to unleash an attack upon Mount Olympus. He is also rather analytical; upon witnessing Hercules' strength firsthand, Hades instantly knew that his newborn nephew could cause issues with his plans and sought to eliminate the problem immediately, albeit unsuccessfully.
Having learned from the Fates of his eventual takeover of Mount Olympus, Hades plotted to dispose of Hercules. First by sending Pain and Panic to kidnap baby Hercules, give him a potion that would render him mortal, and kill him. However, unbeknownst to Hades, Hercules didn't drink every last drop, thus retaining his godlike strength. Hades didn't learn that Hercules survived until he grew into an adult and hero-in-training. Determined to humiliate the young hero, Hades sends monsters to destroy Hercules. Having Meg lure Hercules into a fixed contest in facing the Hydra, Hades watches every second of the battle excitedly as the man destined to defeat him struggles under the attacks, only for the multi-headed monster to be buried in a rockslide and Hercules emerging from the monster's claw. Frustrated that none of the monsters have worked, Hades hits upon a new plan to send a reluctant Meg to stop him, hoping that Herc will become too distracted by his attraction for Meg to fight learn his weaknesses. When he learns that Hercules has fallen in love with Megara, Hades uses this to his advantage and makes a deal with Hercules to give up his strength for the next twenty-four hours then reveals that Meg was working for him the whole time, crushing Hercules' will to fight. Unfortunately, Hercules gains his strength back and defeats the Titans, and later Hades after saving Meg's soul from the Underworld.
In addition to his own intellect, Hades relies on schmoozing to get what he wants, more so than his godly power—acting along the lines of a seedy car salesman or con-artist. Even so, he's an honest god and keeps his end of the bargain with every deal, no matter what the stakes are. Additionally, Hades seems to be willing to give people second chances, as he is constantly giving Pain and Panic important tasks in spite of their constant failures. He is also implied to be somewhat sympathetic to Megara, as he is willing to free Meg (or at least reduce her time of servitude) as long as she helps him conquer the Olympus. Also, when reminding her of how she ended up as his prisoner, Hades called Megara's ex-boyfriend a "creep", implying that even Hades was disgusted by what he did after Meg saved him.
Hades appears as a blue-gray humanoid with flaming blue hair, wearing a black robe and a smoky base. When he gets angry, his skin turns red and he bursts into flames (especially his hair, which becomes yellow-orange). He has yellow eyes sunken deep into their sockets and sharp teeth.
Powers and abilities
- Immortality: As a god, Hades lives eternally. He does not age, nor can he die.
- Endurance: Though his endurance is extremely high (being able to withstand lava and freezing cold temperatures), Hades is not impervious to pain, evidenced by his fear of Zeus and his lightning bolts.
- Fire Manipulation: Much like Zeus with clouds and lightning, Hades' power is mainly derived from fire and smoke (so much so, that his "hair" is made of flames). Hades can summon fire at will to attack his enemies and cause damage to anything in his vicinity. The extent of his literal firepower is practically unlimited, as he was able to burn an entire forest to the ground in a matter of seconds as a result of an outburst. His fire is fatal to mortals and can be severely damaging to otherworldly beings (as seen with Pain and Panic) or even deities (as seen with Hecate).
- Smoke Manipulation: With smoke, Hades can conjure objects and creatures from thin air. He also uses smoke as a means to teleport himself with the snap of a finger. Hades' cloak appears to be made of smoke, specifically at its base. Hades can also turn his arms into extendable, smokey appendages and use them to grab things (or people) from a distance.
- Telekinesis: Hades is able to control objets or people with his mind. He was able to throw a large dumbbell to Hercules with this power.
- Alchemy: Hades appears to dabble in alchemical practices as he has a potion stored within the Underworld with the power to turn gods into mortals.
- Dominion over the Dead: As the Lord of the Underworld, Hades holds dominion over the dead and the spirits of those who died. Regardless, he does not rule the dead in the Underworld as the spirits in the River Styx have apparently threatened him at least once, and they dragged him down the Styx upon his defeat.
Hades is first seen appearing on Mount Olympus during Hercules' christening. None of the gods are happy to see him. After greeting them, Hades goes up to Baby Hercules' crib and attempts to put a spiked skull-shaped pacifier into the baby's mouth. He almost succeeds, but then the baby grabs and squeezes his finger, causing him to drop the pacifier, and he begins to insult Hercules under his breath. After Zeus fails to cheer him up, Hades leaves in pain. Humiliated by his brother in front of the other deities, he leaves Olympus to the Underworld to plan his takeover of Olympus. Hades asks Pain and Panic if the Fates have arrived before they reveal the Fates are waiting for him. Angered his minions had not previously alerted him, Hades goes and 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 be able to unleash the horrible Titans and that they would lead him to victory and power. However, if Hercules intervenes, this will all backfire.
Hades sends Pain and Panic to turn Hercules mortal with a special potion so that they can kill him, but as Hercules does not drink the last drop, he retains his godlike strength and uses it to defend himself. Pain and Panic cover for their failure by claiming they killed Hercules, allowing Hades to continue with his planning. In the mix, he comes across a girl named Megara who sells her soul to him in order to save her boyfriend's life. However, once he has revived, the boy abandons Meg for another woman, breaking her heart and leaving her in Hades' hands. Since then, Meg works with Hades to rule Olympus, though she merely does so because she has no choice and often mocks the god's temper with a sarcastic quip. Years later, Hades sends Meg to recruit Nessus. This backfires, however, when Hercules intervenes. When Hades discovers through this that Hercules is still alive, he takes matters into his own hands. Using Meg to lure Hercules into a fixed contest in facing the Hydra, Hades smiles smugly as he watches the man destined to defeat him struggle under the attacks, only for Hercules to slay the Hydra in a rockslide that seems to have killed both, until Hercules emerges from the monster's claw. After sending an army of monsters to defeat Hercules, all of which fail, Hades sends Meg to seduce Hercules and find his weakness.
Meg falls in love with Hercules on their following date and forgets about the mission, simply saying that he has no weakness when he asks. Hades deduces that Hercules' love for Meg is his weakness and uses her to trick Hercules into giving up his godlike strength for a day for Meg's safety. Hercules agrees and Hades, knowing Hercules will not interfere, not only unleashes the Titans at last but also sends the Cyclops to kill Hercules while he is powerless. Meanwhile, Hades ignites an attack on Mount Olympus, successfully imprisoning Zeus and the others deities in the process, thus allowing the throne to fall into his hands. During the Cyclops' attack on Hercules, a pillar falls on Meg (when she pushes Hercules out of the way), 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, where he engages the Titans and eventually defeats them, thwarting Hades's invasion. However, Meg has died because of her injuries (thanks to the Fates clipping her life thread) 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 he returns Meg to him. Hades smugly explains to Hercules that Meg is dead, and he cannot 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 into the River Styx that Hades shouts that the former will be dead before he can reach Meg. 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's soul. 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. It is unknown what happened to him afterward, though Pain and Panic's commentary implies that Hades may be trapped within the river for quite some time, if not eternity.
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 he asks if anyone's listening and if he's talking to hyperspace.
Contrary to film canon, where Hades was unaware of Hercules' survival until the demigod was 18, the animated series shows that Hades often faces off against a teenage Hercules. Hades tries many 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 godhood, frequently being summoned to Mount Olympus for job-related matters afterward.
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 is 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.
In "Hercules and the Tapestry of Fate", thanks to Icarus' and Hercules' messing with the Tapestry of Fate, Hades is alerted to the Tapestry's existence, allowing him to create an alternate reality where Hades is King of Olympus, while Zeus became Lord of the Underworld. They eventually got into a fight nearing the end of the episode, and the reality was undone after Hercules destroyed the tapestry binding the reality together (which also resulted in Hercules getting tickets to a canceled concert that he had earlier not been able to get due to Prince Adonis beating him out of it).
Hades has several notable appearances on the series. In one episode, "Halloween With Hades", Hades had a crush on 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 since Maleficent loathes him being nice. 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 "Suddenly Hades", where Pete causes the House's thermostat to go broke and break, causing all the guests to 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 way in which Mickey tried to keep Hades included 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 eventually left when Pete flooded the House, but this allowed The Little Mermaid characters to enter the House instead.
In the episode "House Ghosts", his bloopers reel was shown on the big screen, humiliating him so badly that he tortures his minion's Pain and Panic for no particular reason.
Hades is 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.
Hades makes his debut in the twelfth episode of the fifth season, "Souls of the Departed", played by Greg Germann. Hades is the ruler of the Underworld, a purgatory-like place where the souls of those with unfinished business on Earth go after their death. His lair resides in the caves beneath the Underworld library, accessible by taking an elevator.
Years before the first Dark Curse was cast, Hades appears to Liam Jones (brother of Captain Hook), and persuades him to let the ship they are on the sink so that Hades can get new souls for the Underworld. He offers Liam the coveted Eye of the Storm stone as well as the safety of Liam and his brother if he agrees. Liam takes his offer, causing all the crew to die in the shipwreck. Liam and Hook survive, becoming members of the Royal Navy.
When Hook is killed as the Dark One and Emma and the rest of the group arrive in the Underworld searching for him, Hades sends Cora to persuade Regina to leave the Underworld with Robin and Henry, or risk sending her father to Hell. Cora's repeated attempts to get rid of her husband actually help him to complete his unfinished business with Regina, allowing him to pass on to Heaven. His departure from the Underworld causes the hand on the fallen town clock to tick forward one minute. Later, Cora meets Hades in his lair insisting she receives her end of their bargain (which involves Regina's well-being), despite the failure of her mission. Hades makes a point to mention how much she cares for Regina despite abandoning her other daughter to become royalty, and as punishment, he reverts her to her peasant status, forcing her to deliver mill flour bags for all eternity.
After Megara escapes from the dungeon, she happens to be discovered by Emma and Regina. Megara leads them to the Underworld mines, as they are the entrance to the dungeon. Hades stops them and shows Emma Hook's bloody hook removed from his body. Later, after Megara and Hercules pass on, Hades tells Hook that for every soul that leaves the Underworld, he will keep one of Hook's friends behind as a replacement. Giving Hook a carving instrument, Hades tells him that Hook will get to pick three friends to stay behind since three souls moved on. Hook refuses, and Hades sends him down the River of Lost Souls, to be chained up and slowly lowered into the river to kill him.
After Rumplestiltskin, Milah, and Emma arrive at where Hook is being imprisoned, Emma goes in to save him while Milah guards the boat to make sure Rumple does not take it. Hades appears, freezes Milah in her place, and brings Rumplestiltskin back to his lair to offer him a deal: burn the boat and he will let Rumple return to Storybrooke. Rumple agrees to the deal and returns to the dock burning the boat. Hades then manipulates Rumple's magic to blast Milah into the River, killing her.
Later, Hades decides which of the heroes get to stay behind, since Hook refused. He chooses Regina, Emma, and Snow White, foiling Emma's plan to split her heart with Hook, so they can both return to Storybrooke.
At some point, Hades discovers the crystal ball that Rumple had previously used, and repairs it. He spends hours trying to figure out why Rumple was affected by the image of Belle. After some investigating, he found out that Rumple was trying to find out where Baelfire went. As Baelfire is dead, the crystal ball instead showed Rumple his new, unborn child, that Belle is pregnant with. Hades also discovers a healer that Rumple had previously killed in the Enchanted Forest had a contract with the Dark One about taking his second-born child. Realizing that this can force Rumple to do his bidding, he has the healer sign over the contract to him. When Rumple approaches, asking Hades to send him home, he pretends to comply, but then tells him he is going to delay his return. He then shows Rumple the crystal ball, explaining that Belle is with child and that Hades now has the power to take the baby at any point, unless Rumple decides to work for him.
Hades learns of the mutiny being planned by Liam, Hook, and the rest of the heroes. Realizing they could discover his weakness, he pays a visit to Liam who is a bartender in the Underworld. Hades tells Liam that he needs him to find the storybook that is hidden in the Underworld Sorcerer's mansion, and rip out the last few pages that contain the story of Hades. When Liam asks why he should agree to help him, Hades threatens him with divulging his secret to Hook: that Liam lets the sailors aboard the ship drown, so he and his brother could get the jobs in the navy.
When Hook and Liam arrive at the cross-over point with the rest of the ships' crew, Hades appears, blowing Captain Silver over the edge of the cliff, sending him to Hell. He then explains to the rest of them that Liam will get to live because he held up the bargain he had with Hades, while Hook will die because he escaped from Hades' lair. Liam refuses to let Hades kill Hook, so Hades decides to kill Liam instead, knocking him off the edge of the cliff. Hook manages to grab his hand before pulling Liam decides he needs to make amends for his actions and let's go. As he falls, Hades watches in shock as the fiery surroundings change to a peaceful ocean, with a ship in the distance. Hades tells Hook he will pay for this before disappearing.
Back in his lair, the discarded pages of the storybook appear in one of the rivers. Hades takes them, searching through the pages and stopping on one with a picture of Zelena and himself, whispering that their secret is safe.
Hades later took Zelena for a ride where he wants Zelena to love him in order to restart his heart and proposes an offer to make chaos with him, but before that could happen, Hades learns that Gold and Peter Pan kidnapped Zelena in order to tear up the contract, which forced him to turn to Emma to help him. When he meets with Gold and Pan at the diner, he gives in and tears up the contract and is reunited with Zelena, whose true love kiss freed him of being confined to the Underworld and offers Emma and the outsiders a portal back to Storybrooke. However, he left out the part of deceiving everyone by turning over the Underworld to Cruella De Vil and the Blind Witch and destroying the ambrosia tree that Emma needed to restore Hook's soul back to the living. He and Zelena leave for Storybrooke before the others.
It turns out Hades didn't change, though he loves Zelena. He kills King Arthur with his abilities after he escaped from the Storybrooke Sheriff Department. Hades was later contacted by Mr. Gold who offers to make a deal with him as Hades is in Mr. Gold's kingdom. Hades declines the offer. After rebuilding the Olympian Crystal, Hades attempts to use it to murder Regina. However, Robin Hood takes the fatal stab and Zelena kills Hades with the Olympian Crystal where he is reduced to ash. Mr. Gold later visits the remains of Hades stating that he should have accepted his deal. He then takes the fragment of the Olympian Crystal out of the sand where he states that Storybrooke is his kingdom.
Hades appears in the third Descendants film, where he attempts to escape the Isle of the Lost after King Ben, Mal and their friends were picking up the new VKs to Auradon, his attempt fails when Mal (in her dragon form) pushes him back inside the barrier. Hades is later seen sleeping on his chair, Celia Facilier gets annoyed with the record player, so she turns it off, waking Hades. It is later revealed that he is Mal's father and was once married to Maleficent before abandoning the two of them, although he clarifies to Mal that he only abandoned her mother. Mal visits him to steal his ember, but after hashing out their differences, he lends her the ember to save Auradon. After Mal defeats Audrey, he is then brought to Auradon to save her life after she is put under an enchanted sleep. Both he and Mal reunite at the end of the film after Mal and Ben choose to unite Auradon and the Isle of the Lost. He happily is seen hugging her, while giving a parental threat to Ben, before wishing the two happiness in their marriage.
Hades appear in the movie where he is invited to his daughter's wedding. He is not treated well by the guests. When Dude the dog tries to catch Maleficent, he tries helping but Dude misunderstands it and bites him. Hades accidentally caused a fire in the wedding which he tries to put out. He later pours water on Chad Charming because "he was the worse." After seeing the damages he caused, he leaves in a huff. Hades later told Mal what had happened and allowed his daughter to be married in his home for her to be happy.
Hades serves as the final boss in the game, where he battles Hercules in the Underworld over Megara's final fate. Hades' moves set includes launching fireballs at Hercules while trying to evade the hero's sword. Animation of Hades also appears when the player receives a "game over"; in which Hades taunts them for their failure.
Hades appears in the mobile game as one of the unlockable fallen heroes. His attacks are the same as in the movie, and his white ability is throwing fire at the enemies, making them lose vitality little by little.
In the interactive game, Hercules has gone off to battle a giant, leaving Zeus and Hermes without a hero to protect Greece from Hades and his schemes. Zeus messages Phil, requesting a new hero to substitute until Hercules returns. Phil appoints the player, but Hades is not happy with the attempt. As such, he tries to sabotage Phil's training to prevent any more heroes from foiling his plots. Towards the end of the game, Hades kidnaps Phil and holds him prisoner in the Underworld. After the player defeats Hades' monsters, a cowardly Hades tries to talk his way out of trouble, only to inadvertently fall into the River Styx.
Hades appears in the Kingdom Hearts video game series as a recurring villain residing in the world he came from.
Hades makes his first appearance in the original Kingdom Hearts, where he was a member of Maleficent's council and has been supplied with Heartless to use in Olympus Coliseum. Like before, he had managed to gain another warrior, Cloud, by promising him a lead to Sephiroth if Cloud kills Hercules and later Sora when the latter begins winning in the Coliseum. When the plan fails, Hades sends Cerberus after them, who also loses. He is seen later speaking with Maleficent and Riku after Jafar's defeat at the hands of Sora, and Maleficent warns him about letting the darkness consume him. Much later, when Maleficent and the rest of her allies have also been defeated, Hades decides to defeat Sora and Hercules personally in a long tournament with a battle with him near the end. Ultimately, he is defeated by Sora. However, Hades retaliates by unleashing two of the Titans upon the world like the events in Hercules. Upon Lythos' defeat, however, Hades disappears.
In Kingdom Hearts II, Hades' planning and actions occur within the Underworld instead of the Coliseum. This time, he revives Auron, the "Mother of All Bad Guys", to destroy Hercules, only for the swordsman to refuse this. Hades tries to strike him, but Auron departs with Sora when the Keyblade wielder arrives wishing to talk to Hades (which proves unsuccessful due to Hades' invincibility within the Underworld. However, after Pete reveals that the Keyblade can open any lock, Hades decides to use Sora to reopen an ancient coliseum known as the Underdrome by kidnapping Megara and bringing her to the Underdrome. Sora rescues her but unseals it as a result. Due to his victory, Hades decides to hold the Hades Cup to try to kill the weakened Hercules, who was filled with guilt after failing to stop the Hydra. Hades creates a statue of Auron to control him and fight Hercules. However, Sora steals the statue back and destroys it, freeing Auron. Like the conclusion within the film, Hades tries to throw Meg into the River Styx, forcing Hercules to dive in and save her, causing Hercules' power to be restored by his willingness to risk his life to save Meg. Hades is quickly defeated and falls down into the River Styx, though he manages to escape, but does not continue to cause trouble for the group.
In Birth by Sleep, set 10 years before the events of the first game, Hades' first interaction with the Keyblade wielders begins when Terra arrives to test his strength, prompting Hades to convince him to enter the Games to use him against Zeus. But when Terra does not use his darkness, Hades decides to use Zack instead, only for Zack to lose against Terra anyway forcing Hades to flee. When Aqua arrives, Hades reappears as her opponent and nicknames her "little bluebird" due to her hair color. After he calls Terra a coward for not using his darkness, Aqua battles him so Hades fights with the aid of a copy of Hydros called the Ice Colossus. Hades ends up losing and retreats but vows to return.
In Kingdom Hearts III, Hades goes back to his original 18-year plan by releasing the Titans from their prison to take over Olympus and rule over the cosmos (like in the original movie) after his previous attempts of using Terra, Cloud, and Auron to further his conquests had failed. He first arrives when Sora, Donald, and Goofy began searching for Hercules with the former calling out for Herc's name much to his dismay. As the trio taunt him of his previous failures, Hades summons the Titans to show them their power creating a gust of wind blowing them into Thebes. He is then briefly reunited with Maleficent and Pete much to his annoyance, although the evil fairy assures him that they won't interfere with his plans and ask him if there is a Black Box in the world. Thinking that they're looking for the box Zeus hid on earth he directs them to the box's location. Later, Hades sits upon his throne on Olympus after Zeus is imprisoned by the Lava and Ice Titan, however, Hercules, Sora, Donald, and Goofy arrive resulting in Hades in sending in the Titans to attack the heroes. After the defeat of the Titans, Hades attempts to retaliate against them but is mocked to return to the underworld and then punched by Hercules in retaliation for attacking Thebes. Defeated, Hades retreats and threatens to throw Meg in the River of Styx, but not before Zeus tosses a thunderbolt at him.
Hades appears as the of the main antagonists, beside Audrey, being a villain and a careless father towards Mal. He appears as lazy, uncaring, and ruthless along with most of the villains on the Isle of the Lost. He makes contact with the border in this novel. He didn't seem to have contact with Maleficent before the events of the novel, even though they live on the same island. At the end, though, he becomes more caring towards Mal and even becomes the "father-in-law" of King Ben.
Hades is the main antagonist of the fifth Disney Chills book, Liar, Liar, Head on Fire, which released on August 10, 2021. He is the main villain who strikes a deal with twelve-year-old boy Hector.
In later years, despite not having too many live appearances, Hades has become quite the common Disney villain in several spots, mostly for entertainment purposes.
Hades is also used in promos for the Disney theme parks along with other major Disney villains as part of Halloween celebrations, including animated commercials and the live-action Christmas/Halloween promo that premiered October 2013.
In 2013, Hades appeared with Megara, Pain, Panic, and several Disney villains on stage for the "Unleash the Villains" Halloween stage event at Disney's Hollywood Studios. He would return for the renamed "Villains Unleashed" event in 2014.
In the interactive attraction Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, Hades serves as the main antagonist again. In this 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 Pain and Panic to steal it, the crystal is accidentally shattered 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 the newly-reconstructed crystal by Merlin and the park guests that helped him on the adventure.
In Fantasmic!, 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 Mickey's Philharmagic show itself, but on a poster in the queue area where he sings "Torch Songs".
In Wonderful World of Animation, Hades appeared as a major villain alongside Tamatoa and Yzma during the villain-centric segment. When he appears, the Chinese theater is engulfed in blue flames as the audience is transported to the Underworld.
In the Magic Kingdom's Villains Unite the Night, Hades and Meg serve as the protagonists. In the show, Hades is preparing for the planets to align; an ancient prophecy declares that someone will be granted ultimate power that will dub them ruler of the universe. Hades believes this to be him but later finds that Jafar, Maleficent, the Evil Queen, and Dr. Facilier have been following the same prophecy.
In Starlight Dreams, Hades is one of the central villains where he joins other Disney Villains in a hostile takeover scheme against Mickey Mouse and friends. During the Halloween season, he is prominently featured alongside other major Disney villains throughout the park, including a live appearance in Tokyo DisneySea's Villain's World show.
As part of the park's Halloween celebration, Hades joins Dr. Facilier and Maleficent in the Villain's Cavalcade night show.
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' personality and Yiddish mannerisms are said to be based on Jeffrey Katzenberg, a former Disney Studios Chairman who left the company on bad terms to start DreamWorks Animation.
- Hades is one of the few classic villains without a memorable song. However, he does have a recurring instrumental theme, which may be found as "Speak of the Devil" on the Hercules soundtrack. In the Hercules TV series, Hades sings "My Town" when he takes over Athens.
- It is unclear as to why Hades was not aware that Hercules had not been killed by Pain and Panic back when Hercules was a baby, seeing that he is the Lord of the Dead; the most likely explanation is that he does not keep track of specific details about his role and simply assumed that all had gone according to plan. But in the series, Hades claimed that if someone was dead, he would know about it.
- Hades' appearance in the TV series contradicts the film as he believed that Hercules was dead when he was a teenager during the film. This is an open inconsistency with the production crew to allow him to be written into episodes.
- The Greek god Hades was not evil - in fact, he was one of the more personable deities of Ancient Greece, despite his job as lord of the dead. However, many other versions (for instance, the 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans) depict him as a villain, like the Disney version.
- Another detail regarding Hades that was left out of the film was that he was married to Persephone, the goddess of spring, and the two had a functional relationship. Persephone had been planned to be written into an episode of the Hercules animated series as the subject of a custody battle between Hades and Demeter. While Persephone received a design for the show, the episode ultimately went unproduced due to the heavy nature of its plot.
- In the original myths, Hades was one of the six children of the Titan Kronos and the grandson of Gaia, the Earth. The Disney version does not implicate his relationship to Hera, Demeter, or Hestia (who were his sisters in the myth), but it is shown that he, Zeus, and Poseidon are brothers like in mythology (although the myths had Hades as the oldest brother, whereas the Disney version has this the other way around).
- 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 Prince John, John Ratcliffe, and the Hun Army.
- Hades is the only villain to meet another Disney villain in media canon to his film of origin, having conspired with Jafar in the Hercules TV series.
- In the film, Hades is also the only deity that lacks a glowing aura, instead of possessing smoke emitting from the base of his robe.
- Hades is depicted in the Disney movie with control over fire, pyromania, whereas 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 idea of villain and comically with his "hot-head" personality.
- Because blue flames burn at a higher temperature than regular red/orange flames, the implication that Hades turns red when he gets angry (when he "heats-up") is inaccurate. Technically, Hades is hotter when he is calm than when he is angry. However, as blue is usually seen as color representing calmness, and red is one of anger, the inaccuracy is usually accepted for the sake of artistic license.
- Hades is considered one of the oldest of the Disney Villains, due to him being an immortal god.
- Hades' name is used in the name of a level in Disney Heroes: Battle Mode, called "Hades Street", even before he became a playable character.
- Hartl, John (June 22, 1997). "Disney's `Hercules' Plays Up The Comic Side Of An Epic Tale -- Missing From The Disney Treatment Of The Hercules Story Will Be Some Darker Details Of His Life, Including His Illegitimate Birth" (Article). The Seattle Times.