Does Hercules have an obligation to help his half-siblings?

#1 Posted by seekquaze (612 posts) - - Show Bio

I've read the first two tpbs of the New 52 Wonder Woman. A story point of that series is Zeus constantly has illegitimate children and Hera kills them and Zeus' mistresses. Zeus for his part as usual does little to help them.

Several Marvel Herc stories have shown Zeus continues his amorous pursuits in modern times. Hera hounds them. Zeus does little to help.

Hercules is one of those who have suffered the worse due to Hera's attention and Zeus' neglect. It is reasonable to think that Zeus has at least a couple of demigod children running around. Hera will kill them if given a chance. Hercules knows all of this. As the noblest of Olympians, favorite son of Zeus (aka the one who can get away with more crap then anyone else) and god of heroes, to what extent is Hercules' moral obligation to do something about it? If Hercules finds out about Hera going after one of Herc's half-siblings is he obligated to step in and try and protect them? Should he step in? How long should he protect them since the moment he turns his back Hera is liable to attack? As an older, slightly more responsible brother

Hercules protects both Olympus and the mortal world from Olympian created monsters, Pluto, Ares, and Titans when he hears one of them causing trouble. But what about the trouble caused by his own father and stepmother? As an older, slightly more responsible brother should Hercules seek out and try to do more to help the demigod children of Zeus and other Olympians?

#2 Posted by PowerHerc (84031 posts) - - Show Bio

I would say Hercules is obligated to protect them the same as he would be obligated to anyone else be they mortal, immortal, alien, relative, whatever . . . based on the fact that he is a hero and heroes protect and defend the innocent and those who can't protect themselves.

I could see where protecting any demigod half-sibling brothers and/or sisters would please Zeus and help Hercules to get in or stay in his good graces.

#3 Posted by seekquaze (612 posts) - - Show Bio

@powerherc: I am curious as to your opinion though. Hercules knows Zeus still has affairs with mortals and Hera no doubt takes her wrath out on the mortals. Normally, it is Zeus' job to keep an eye on the other gods and dispatch Hercules on missions to intervene when need be. Either that or the schemes of the other gods inevitable drag Hercules into it. In these cases, events happen on such a small scale Hercules is not dragged into it and Zeus' attempts to protect his mistresses are either half-hearted or lame attempts at cleaning up the damage caused by Hera and himself. Should Hercules try to do something more like actively seek out other children of Zeus? Maybe start confronting Zeus more often about the damage he causes and standing up for his mistresses? Or would this be rocking the boat too much?

#4 Edited by PowerHerc (84031 posts) - - Show Bio

@seekquaze:

I don't think it should be Hercules' responsibility to seek out and protect any possible demigod children of Zeus. That would be Zeus' responsibility, not Hercules'.

Also, going by the many demigod children Zeus sired in actual mythology and the fact that Hera didn't actually kill any of them, I would say the danger Hera presents might not be grave enough for Hercules to worry about. Hera probably wouldn't kill these hypothetical modern demigod children for the same reason she didn't kill the ones in the past; she doesn't actually want to risk incurring the full wrath of Zeus.

#5 Edited by seekquaze (612 posts) - - Show Bio

@powerherc: Hera did kill one set of them. One of Zeus' lovers Lamia. Lamia had several children by Zeus. Hera either killed them or drove Lamia insane and she killed them. In some versions Hera kidnapped them. Zeus made it up to her by giving Lamia the power to remove her eyes so she would not be haunted by visions of her dead children. Yeah, small consolation. Lamia went on to become a monsters in folklore. IIRC, she was one of the monsters Hera recruited as her own Olympus Group.

I suppose that has always been a key issue with Zeus (and the Olympians in general). The myth Zeus pulls enough crap in his personal life, questionable justice, letting stuff with the other gods slide that it is easy to see him as leaning toward evil or easily going that route. If there was a viable replacement most people would probable not mind Zeus being overthrown or spending a few centuries in Tartarus. His only saving grace is he is benevolent enough that things are marginally better with him in charge and every once in a while he helps someone out.

I think you are right that if Hera ever started outright murdering his demigod children that would push him too far. Ironically, Hera has the divine right to punish people who violate monogamy of marriage which may be why Zeus lets her get away with so much. He is in the wrong by being an oath-breaker and liar despite hating oath-breakers and liars. Both are so moody that it is hard to guess what will push the other too far. On the other hand, I'm not sure how much value Zeus' protection is to those whose lives Hera either makes miserable or destroys. She may be forbidden from outright killing his mistresses and children, but there is nothing about her making them wish they were dead.

#6 Posted by PowerHerc (84031 posts) - - Show Bio

@powerherc: Hera did kill one set of them. One of Zeus' lovers Lamia. Lamia had several children by Zeus. Hera either killed them or drove Lamia insane and she killed them. In some versions Hera kidnapped them. Zeus made it up to her by giving Lamia the power to remove her eyes so she would not be haunted by visions of her dead children. Yeah, small consolation. Lamia went on to become a monsters in folklore. IIRC, she was one of the monsters Hera recruited as her own Olympus Group.

I suppose that has always been a key issue with Zeus (and the Olympians in general). The myth Zeus pulls enough crap in his personal life, questionable justice, letting stuff with the other gods slide that it is easy to see him as leaning toward evil or easily going that route. If there was a viable replacement most people would probable not mind Zeus being overthrown or spending a few centuries in Tartarus. His only saving grace is he is benevolent enough that things are marginally better with him in charge and every once in a while he helps someone out.

I think you are right that if Hera ever started outright murdering his demigod children that would push him too far. Ironically, Hera has the divine right to punish people who violate monogamy of marriage which may be why Zeus lets her get away with so much. He is in the wrong by being an oath-breaker and liar despite hating oath-breakers and liars. Both are so moody that it is hard to guess what will push the other too far. On the other hand, I'm not sure how much value Zeus' protection is to those whose lives Hera either makes miserable or destroys. She may be forbidden from outright killing his mistresses and children, but there is nothing about her making them wish they were dead.

Thanks for the info on Lamia.

Zeus is so full of shortcomings and contradictions it's almost as if he were a human, not a god. Your last sentence is exactly what Hera tried to do to Hercules.

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